Somos Primos
Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage 


Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-2015



Click for the story behind the cartoon, a monumental accomplishment:  recognition by the United States Congress of the historic contributions of Spain, General Bernardo de Galvez, and the Spanish colonists and Spanish soldiers to the American Revolution. 

 On December 9th, the historic event was the fulfillment of a promise made by the United States Congress 231 years ago.


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Somos Primos Consultants   
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 January 2015  
Rodolfo F. Acuña
Judge Fredrick Aguirre
Maya Isabel Arce
David Bacon
Pat Bautista 
Juana Bordas  
Edward F. Butler
Nicolás Cabrera
Reverend Michael J. Calderin
Eddie AAA Calderón, Ph.D.
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 
Bill Carmena 
Dr. Carolina Castillo Crimm
Ricardo R. Palmerín Cordero
Virginia Creager, Ph.D.
José Antonio Crespo-Francés 
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Ph.D.
Angelo Falcón
George Farias
Daisy Wanda Garcia
Henry Garcia
Margarito J. Garcia III, Ph.D.
Rubin Garza
Ignacio Gomez
Rosalinda Gonzales Mendez
Francisco J. Gonzalez
Michael N. Henderson,
Walter Herbeck
Rogelio H Hinojosa
Luke Holtzman
Silvia Ichar
Bernadette Inclan Maquire
John D. Inclan 
Jessica Lavariega Monfort
Amy Leach
Ann-Marie Longanecker
Jose Antonio Lopez
Alfredo Lugo
Jan Mallet
Christine Marin, Ph.D.
Juan Marinez
Eddie Martinez
Frank Medina
Chana Mendez
Rosalinda Mendez Gonzalez,Ph.D.
Genie Milgrom
Rafael Minuesa
Ed Morales
Alex Moreno Areyan 
Dorinda Moreno
Paul Newfield III
Brenda Norrell
Rafael Ojeda
Pedro Olivares
Joseph Parr
Jose M. Pena
Christopher Perez
Joe Perez 
Michael S. Perez
Richard Perry
Gilbeto Quezada
Manuel Quinones
Oscar Ramirez
Steve Ramirez
Angel Custodio Rebollo 
Armando Rendón
Wilhelmena Rhodes Kelly
Jeremy Robins
Letty Rodella
Viola Rodriguez Sadler
Magdaleno Rose-Avila
Tom Saenz 
Samuel Benicio Sanchez
Louis Serna
Herman Sillas
Gil Sperry
Robert Thonhoff
Sylvia N. Tillotson
David Torres-Rouff
Valcarce Graciani
Val Valdez Gibbons
Jesse O. Villarreal, Sr.
Douglas Westfall
Clive Williams  
Kirk Whisler

Letters to the Editor

hi Mimi, 
I just wanted to let you know that you are AWESOME!! and that we appreciate
all the hard work that you do. Just thinking of how much work this takes makes me dizzy...  and you do such a good job, I know that i speak for others.. 

Wishing you a Blessed & Happy Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year in 2015 !! 

Ann-Marie Longanecker  

Congratulations on 15 years!! 
I have enjoyed every issue.  
May God bless you and have a Merry Christmas 
and a Happy New Year!

Reverend Michael J. Calderin, MA, CAP, CMHP
Saint Jude Ministries, Inc.
18459 Pines Boulevard
Pembroke Pines, Florida 33029
954-990-0918 Broward
305-791-4330 Miami Dade

Just opened my Somos Primos issue...! Wonderful job as usual..! I liked the video you attached at the end of my "Epilogue" on the Onate Series..! It sure fit in nicely with the narrative... You are so professional... no wonder everyone loves your work..!

Louis Serna 

P.O. 415
Midway City, CA 

Hi Mimi, The layout and format of the Box Bravo story juxtaposed with the photographs was fantastic! The Bravo family would like to express their most sincere gratitude and thankfulness for a superb job. Whoever thought of this wonderful idea deserves plaudits and encomiums. If it was you, Mimi, you have our respect and admiration. Thank you, thank you, and may God fill you with an abundance of blessings. Gilberto

Congratulations for your impeccable job helping us all shine to the eyes of everybody on earth!
Thank you Mimi!!

Silvia Ichar, Publisher 

Irma Cavazos

Amor, Congratulations for the 15-year accomplishment.  You are our Pilar!FELIZ NAVIDAD DEL CORAZOÑ!  Que La Virgen te accompañe.Saludos, abrazos, besos,
Manuel Quinones

Dear Mimi, May this find you and all yours well with our Creator's blessings.

In reading through the articles that you provide us in Somos Primos, it occurred to me that some of the things I have written in the past might be of interest to people. I am forwarding you an article that I researched and wrote about 20 years ago, based on interviews conducted by two graduate students and myself, on the history of the community of San Ysidro in San Diego, California.

If you think it might be appropriate, let me know what format you would like it in, and I imagine it would be best for me to translate the two Spanish quotes I have from the interviews.

Thank you for all the marvelous work you do and for your inspiring dedication!
Saludos y abrazos, Rosalina

Rosalinda Mendez Gonzalez, Ph.D.

Dear Mimi: Many times I have wanted to email a well- earned "bien hecho" for your efforts on our collective relatives. I have failed to follow through but not on this occassion when we should all be cognizant of our closeness as human beings on this monthperiod of honor our Lord and His Holy

Rubin Garza

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people . .  
of the characters and conduct of their rulers."  ~  John Adams

"Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it."  ~  George Bernard Shaw





Sometimes Congress takes a while to keep its promises
Across the nation, historians were watching
Historical figure Gálvez gets his due — finally by Jose Antonio Lopez
Dr. Carolina Crimm, shares the December 9th unveiling of the Galvez portrait 
A thank you from Teresa Valcarce Graciani all the help in getting the Bernardo Galvez Portrait Hung 
La Libertad de Los Valientes. Historia de Bernardo de Galvez is on Facebook
December 16, 2014, Honorary citizenship conferred on Bernardo de Galvez

Latinos in Heritage Conservation: Launching a National Network
Reagan-Bush Family Fairness: A Chronological History
University of Southern California Alum, Frederick Aguirre, goes on the record for Latino patriots
2015 will Bring the Most Latino Congress in U.S. History 
How DACA Has Improved the Lives of Undocumented Young People  
El Lejano oeste espanol olvidado: De Pedro Rivera a Jose Antonio de Rubi  
       por José Antonio Crespo-Francés 
Book: The Spanish Army in North America 1700-1793 (Men-at-Arms) by Rene Chartrand 

Sometimes Congress takes a while to keep its promises. This one took only 231 years. 
by Ed Butler
SAR President General 2009-2010

It has been that long since Congress pledged to hang a portrait in the U.S. Capitol honoring Bernardo de Galvez, a daring Spanish military leader who became a hero in the colonies during the American Revolution.

A civil servant in D.C., Teresa Valcarce Graciani found herself as Chairman of a committee to get Congress to honor a promise it made in 1783, following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which concluded the American Revolutionary War. 

One of her friends in Malaga, Spain, sent her a copy of a May 1783 letter from Elias Boudinot, the president of the Continental Congress, to an American revolutionary financier, Oliver Pollock.   In the letter, Boudinot accepted Pollock’s gift of a portrait of Galvez.  Pollock had worked with Galvez in New Orleans to acquire and distribute Spanish arms, ammunition and military supplies to the Americans.

Galvez had been the governor of Spanish-controlled Louisiana.   Galvez led his Spanish troops against the British in Baton Rogue and Manchac, LA; Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL.  His troops captured Nassau, Bahamas and was about to take the English pearl in the Caribbean - Jamaica - when the English decided they had had enough.  There’s a statue of him near the State Department. The city of Galveston, Tex., got its name from him, and St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana is a nod in his honor to his patron saint. Two counties in Louisiana are named for his wife, Feliciana.

The committee dug up a congressional resolution from 1783 ordering the portrait to be “placed in the room in which Congress meets.” Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), got the ball rolling in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a Cuban-American, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led the movement in the US Senate.

A national committee was formed, which included members of the SAR, DAR, the Texas Connection to the American Revolution (TCARA) in San Antonio, TX, Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society of San Antonio, TX and the Order of the Granaderos y Damas de Galvez in San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Jacksonville, FL.  A letter writing campaign proved to be successful.

Mrs. Valcarce called Manuel Olmedo Checa, the Galvez association member in Malaga who unearthed the 1783 letter.

He knew that a portrait with an impressive provenance was kept in a private collection in Malaga. That painting had reputedly been commissioned by the Spanish king Carlos III to honor Galvez after his return from the Americas. A well-known Spanish artist, Carlos Monserrate, offered to copy the portrait as a donation.

And so it was that in June, 2014 Valcarce received a lushly brushed oil painting, roughly 3 feet by 4 feet, of Bernardo de Galvez, posed in an elegantly embroidered suit with a medal pinned to his chest. She stashed it for safekeeping with the Daughters of the American Revolution, where it was displayed until just a few days ago, when a crew hung it on the west wall of S-116, a compact but ornate room that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee uses to mark up bills and to host official coffees with heads of state.

There will be a small celebration on Tuesday, December 9, in the Hall of the Committee of affairs outside of the Senate of the United States.  Because it is a small room, attendance is by invitation only.

One other matter remains to be accomplished regarding Bernardo de Galvez.  At the SAR national Congress in Greenville, SC. the delegates voted unanimously to pass a Joint Resolution for the US Congress to award Honorary U.S. Citizenship posthumously to Bernardo de Galvez.  The U.S. House of Representatives passed that resolution on June 14, 2014.  Now, all that remains is passage in the U.S. Senate.  Please contact your two U.S. Senators and request that they support this resolution.  
GREAT NEWS: General Galvez received Honorary United States Citizenship, more below on the subject.

Editor Mimi:   Judge Ed Butler, Past President General of the Sons of the American Revolution is publishing a book,  Spain- Our Forgotten Ally In The American Revolutionary War.  I am honored by being asked to write the foreword. 

In the book Judge Butler recognizes, "Jack Vance Cowan, who founded the "Texas Connection with the American Revolution Association (TCARA). Jack has done more than anybody to promote the involvement of Texas in the American Revolution. He has developed a strong sense of coordination among the efforts of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Order of the Damas and Granaderos de Galvez, and other groups. Jack's efforts have contributed to many young Hispanics not feeling estranged, and given then an understanding that their ancestors played apart in the formation of our nation." 

When I first read about the newly organized TCARA, I could not send my membership in fast enough. Since I live in California,  I have only been involved in a few TCARA activities, but they were memorial.  Getting to meet Jack and members of TCARA was special. Jack  really touched my heart with the reason for his unvarying, relentless dedication, commitment, and involvement with promoting the Spanish historic presence.  

Jack's reason in promoting Hispanic history was basically the same as for Granville Hough and Robert Thonhoff.  The lack of historic recognition and inclusion was unfair and unjust.  Jack and Granville, both had Latinos serving under them in the military.  They personally expressed great respect for those soldiers who served with them, and felt they owed it to the men to promote their Spanish ancestors' contribution to the victory of the American Revolution.  Robert remembers the Mexican heritage children in his classroom and said, he felt he owed it them knowledge of their heritage. He said, "The children don't know anything about their history.  They should  know they have heroes to be proud of. They should know."  

Historians were watching:   Letty Rodella, President of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, SHHAR sent this information on Dec 4, 2014 — Enrolled Bill

H.J.Res. 105: Conferring honorary citizenship of the United States on Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Galvez.

Last Action: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
Explanation: This resolution was passed by Congress on December 4, 2014 and goes to the President next.

Both Judge Ed Butler and Robert Thonhoff sent the wonderful news  . . . . .

Dear Fellow Compatriots,

On Thursday evening the US Senate passed without amendment and by unanimous consent 
H.J.RES.105, Conferring honorary citizenship of the United States on Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Galvez.

Within the next few days the Joint Resolution will be delivered to President Obama for signature.
Clearly, the SAR, Granaderos and Los Bexarenos Genealogical Soc. were instrumental in the adoption of this joint resolution conferring citizenship on Galvez. Many thanks to all of those who contacted your Congressmen and Senators.

What a great week, with his portrait to be hung in the chambers of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Dec. 9th.

Ed Butler
SAR President General 2009-2010
Order of the Granaderos de Galvez
Los Bexarenos Genealogical Soc.


GREAT TIMELY NEWS!!!!!!!!  Bernardo de Galvez Receives Honorary United States Citizenship

Queridos compatriotas:  Following is the GREAT NEWS that I just received regarding the Honorary Citizenship Resolution for our hero, General Bernardo de Galvez. which occurred just in the nick of time with the hanging of his portrait in the Halls of Congress on December 9th! 

¡Viva Gálvez! Robert Thonhoff

ps. Wikipedia is already up dated open the link. 

Also, copies of the elusive donativos have recently been discovered in the National Archives in Mexico City and are being cataloged and prepared for dissemination. This IS the "The Frosting on the Cake"!
Robert Thonhoff 
Date: Sun, Dec 7, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Historical figure Gálvez gets his due — finally
Jose Antonio Lopez, for the Express-News, December 12, 2014

The U.S. Senate recently approved legislation granting Spanish Gen. Bernardo de Gálvez honorary U.S. citizenship for his exemplary service during the U.S. War of Independence. Fans of Gen. Gálvez in Texas are indebted to Sen. John Cornyn, a key player in pushing the legislation for approval.

The official act is a just one. Two other non-U.S. born leaders of the American Revolution have been duly honored. France’s Gen. Marquis de Lafayette received honorary citizenship in 2002, and Poland’s Gen. Casimir Pulaski was honored in 2009. It is only proper that Spain’s Gen. Gálvez now receive equal tribute.

I kindly remind San Antonio Express-News readers of the incredible story we first heard in elementary school. Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army of starving, ill-dressed, ill-trained and ill-equipped citizen-soldiers were able to miraculously defeat mighty Great Britain, one of the strongest superpowers of that time. How was it possible?

Both France and Spain helped the American Colonies’ drive for independence. However, U.S. history books primarily give credit to French Gen. Lafayette. Thus, only recently has Gen. Gálvez come to the attention of mainstream historians.

Although Gen. Gálvez has a solid reputation as both the governor of Spanish Louisiana and the New Spain viceroy, he also championed the 13 Colonies’ independence from the start. He wrote often to Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia. He organized fundraising events to support the Colonies. He raised a Spanish army that at its height numbered more than 7,000 troops and stretched from Texas to Florida.

He defeated the English fort in West Florida. English forts at Mobile and Pensacola were soon in flames as well, forcing the English to surrender. The brilliantly executed Battle of Pensacola drove the English from the Gulf of Mexico for good.

So how was Gen. Washington able to defeat the more powerful English army? A good part of the answer is that the English had to deploy significant troops to fight Gen. Gálvez.

Anyone wishing to learn more about Gen. Gálvez should consider joining Los Granaderos y Damas de Galvez here in town. Also, a book by Texas historian Robert H. Thonhoff, “The Texas Connection with the American Revolution,” skillfully explains the story.

Since 2010, the state-approved STAAR curriculum has included pre-1836 people, places and events in Texas history. So the next time your kids ask you to recommend a topic for a history report, tell them to look up the inspiring story of Spanish-speaking Bernardo de Gálvez, a Spanish-born mega-hero who, in addition to several impressive titles, has earned a new identity — honorary U.S. citizen.

José Antonio López is founder of the Tejano Learning Center LLC and, a website dedicated to Spanish-Mexican people and events in U.S. history mostly overlooked in mainstream history books. 

Dr. Carolina Crimm, who attended the December 9th unveiling of the Galvez portrait shared photos and a brief report: A wonderful time for all involved.  The portrait is hanging to the immediate right of the door of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room, right next to President Eisenhower's.  For visitors to DC who wish to see it, please contact your Senator and  ask for a tour. If there is no meeting going on in the room, you can get in.

We all arrived at the Senate early, as required, they checked ID's very carefully before letting us in. Mostly Spanish members of the Embassy and friends of Teresa Valcarce's. She looked very elegant in a lovely red dress with a black bolero top (shown in the picture). The Spanish ambassador (seen in front of the portrait) waited with all of us for half an hour before Senator Menendez arrived. 


Also present were Joe Dooley, past president of the Sons of the American Revolution, Lynn Forney Young, Pres. Gen of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Ross Perry, President General of the Order of Cincinnati, seen standing with Teresa Valcarce, the lady who convinced the Congress to hang the portrait. They were very influential in 
getting support for Teresa and the hanging of the portrait as well as getting the Honorary Citizenship passed. How wonderful to have both of those things coincide. 

Both the Senator and the Ambassador spoke briefly about Galvez and the union between Spain and the US, Then with Teresa Valcarce they cut the ribbon and we all were given glasses of champagne or wine to toast the General.  Everyone adjourned to the ambassador's residence afterward for a reception.

Great evening and wonderful pride in Bernardo!  Abrazos, 
Castillo Crimm, Ph.D., Professor of History, ret'd
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77320
(936) 291-2580  

Sent by Juan Marinez  
View Teresa Valcarce's during the unveiling of portrait: 

 A thank you from Teresa Valcarce Graciani for all the support she received to get the Bernardo Galvez Portrait Hung 

Dibujo de mi marido Donald Foley. Con un marido asi podria hasta conquistar el mundo!! :o)


Este martes, 9 de diciembre, se colgará en la sala del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado de los Estados Unidos el cuadro de Bernardo de Gálvez, obra del pintor Monserrate, que ha sido donado por la Asociación Bernardo de Gálvez. Con este acto culminará el intensísimo período que durante veinte meses ha ocupado gran parte de mi vida y al que me he entregado con entusiasmo e ilusión.

Me emociona haber sido partícipe de la recuperación de una página olvidada de la Historia de España y de Estados Unidos, que comenzaron a compartir hace 450 años, desde que Pedro Menéndez de Avilés fundó San Agustín de la Florida, la primera ciudad española en tierras de Norteamérica.

Me siento muy agradecida tanto a mi marido como a la Asociación Bernardo de Gálvez, y en particular a su vicepresidente, Manuel Olmedo Checa. También quiero dar las gracias a las organizaciones, instituciones públicas de ambos países y a todos los que me han ayudado cada día durante esta maravillosa aventura apoyándome con sus adhesiones, sus mensajes y su solidaridad.

Todos ellos han sido muy conscientes de que colgar el retrato de Bernardo de Gálvez en el Capitolio constituye un poderoso argumento que permitirá estrechar las relaciones entre España y Estados Unidos. Estas dos naciones son mi Patria de nacimiento y mi Patria de adopción. A las dos quiero por igual y a ellas por igual he intentado servir desde mi humilde puesto de trabajo al afrontar tan apasionante reto.

Bernardo de Gálvez es un Héroe compartido, es un orgullo para los españoles y para los norteamericanos.

A los medios de comunicación que tanto habeis hecho por esta noble causa os agradezco muy especialmente vuestra decisiva contribución para difundirla, y estoy segura que continuaréis haciendo cuanto sea posible para que Estados Unidos y España recuperen la memoria de tan gigantesca figura de la Historia.

Albergo el convencimiento de que al cerrar esta singular página se abrirán otras que servirán para que recuperemos a nuestros héroes olvidados, para que aprendamos de ellos y reconozcamos sus contribuciones a nuestro país.

Tambien podemos celebrar la maravillosa noticia de que el Senado norteamericano ha aprobado el nombramiento de Bernardo de Gálvez como Ciudadano Honorario de los Estados Unidos!

Por eso hoy sólo puede decir GRACIAS. Muchísimas gracias a todos.

Y yo digo...Who's the Hero?....YOU are my hero!! 

Un beso muy grande,
Teresa Valcarce Graciani   
Sent by   

La Libertad de Los Valientes. Historia de Bernardo de Galvez is on Facebook 

Sent by Bill Carmena


December 16, 2014, Honorary citizenship conferred on Bernardo de Galvez

The President signed House Resolution 105 into law yesterday, December 16, 2014, conferring honorary citizenship to Bernardo de Galvez, making him only the eighth person in our country's history to receive this honor.

Just one week ago today, a portrait of Galvez was hung in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting room. Thus, there were two national-level actions recognizing this Spanish hero of the American Revolution in one week!

We are witnessing a surge in interest for this hero who helped us become the United States of America.  All Granaderos y Damas de Galvez should be proud to know that our efforts are contributing to this surge in interest.  And we have been doing it for the past 39 years.  Let's keep the ball rolling.  !Viva Galvez!

Joe Perez
Governor, San Antonio Chapter
Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez  

Latinos in Heritage Conservation: Launching a National Network

The organizers of “Latinos in Heritage Conservation” – a new group aimed at empowering Latino communities nationwide to protect and sustain historic places – would like to thank all who attended our first visioning session at the 2014 National Preservation Conference in Savannah last month!

The hour-long session featured a lively speed meeting, where participants interviewed one another about places that matter to Latinos/as in their communities, and more in-depth breakout sessions, where small groups exchanged ideas for organizing an effective national network. 

Common themes included the need for more community-driven documentation, the importance of recognizing diversity within Latino communities, and the need to re-brand preservation as a quality-of-life issue for our communities. 

Participants identified a number of roles and responsibilities for the national network, including:

· Acting as a central organizing body or “clearinghouse” for information and dialogue across the country, including grassroots
   preservation tactics, outreach strategies, and professional and/or educational opportunities;
· Advocating for national policies and programs that support Latino/a preservation; 
· Sponsoring regional preservation trainings and workshops;
· Developing special projects to promote proactive, intergenerational preservation initiatives; 
· Building relationships with related Latino/a organizations (ex. AIA Latinos in Architecture, Smithsonian Latino Center, National
   Association of Latino Arts and Culture, etc., ethnic studies programs);
· Working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to shape the organization’s preservation priorities through, for example, 
   National Treasures nominations; and 
· Working with the National Park Service to develop programming related to the American Latino Heritage Initiative and National
    Register/National Historic Landmark nominations.

Over the next several months, the Latinos in Heritage Conservation organizing committee will be developing a mission statement and objectives for the coming year. More information will follow! 

If you’d like to get involved with our efforts, please email . Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for stories about Latino/a preservation from around the country!

Latinos in Heritage Conservation was established in 2014 with the goal of promoting Latino leadership and engagement in historic preservation, with representatives from San Francisco Heritage, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Westside Preservation Alliance (San Antonio), Chicano Park Steering Committee (San Diego), the American Latino Scholars Expert Panel, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

Laura Dominguez
Preservation Coordinator
Los Angeles Conservancy
523 West Sixth Street, Suite 826
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 430-4211 

Reagan-Bush Family Fairness: A Chronological History
December 9, 2014

Washingonton D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases Reagan-Bush Family Fairness: A Chronological History. From 1987 to 1990, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. used their executive authority to protect from deportation a group that Congress left out of its 1986 immigration reform legislation—the spouses and children of individuals who were in the process of legalizing. These “Family Fairness” actions were taken to avoid separating families in which one spouse or parent was eligible for legalization, but the other spouse or children living in the United States were not—and thus could be deported, even though they would one day be eligible for legal status when the spouse or parent legalized. Publicly available estimates at the time were that “Family Fairness” could cover as many as 1.5 million family members, which was approximately 40 percent of the then-unauthorized population. After Reagan and Bush acted, Congress later protected the family members.

This fact sheet provides a chronological history of the executive actions and legislative debate surrounding Family Fairness.

To view the fact sheet see: Reagan-Bush Family Fairness: A Chronological History (American Immigration Council, December 2014) 

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 


University of Southern California Alum, Frederick Aguirre, goes on the record for Latino patriots
Superior Court judge shares the history of Mexican-Americans who served in the U.S. military
by Michelle Boston December 5, 2014 

Many members of Judge Frederick Aguirre’s family served in the military. (Photo/courtesy of Frederick Aguirre) 

As a young law student, Frederick Aguirre ’68 was interning with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in 1970. An exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution commemorating the 25th anniversary of the end of World War II caught his eye.

Aguirre’s family, who emigrated from Mexico and set down roots in the United States starting in the 1890s, has a long history of military service. His father, two uncles and 23 cousins served in that conflict. Many other family members and friends served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

“I went to the exhibit with the pride of my family having served in WWII, hoping to see positive signs of the service of our military men, especially Mexican-Americans,” said Aguirre, who earned his bachelor’s in history from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and is now a California Superior Court judge in Orange County.

An egregious omission

As he began walking through the exhibit, Aguirre was pleased to see some minority groups that faced discrimination at home were presented as patriotic heroes in special sections celebrating African-American and Japanese-American servicemen. But for Latinos who served their country, Aguirre found only a small display on the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 when racial tensions in Los Angeles escalated between on-leave servicemen and Mexican-American youth, erupting in three nights of fighting in the streets.

More than 500,000 Latinos served in WWII. We’re a part of the fabric of this country.  “It angered me,” Aguirre said. “More than 500,000 Latinos served in WWII. We’re a part of the fabric of this country. To be displayed in such a negative and unpatriotic manner, showing Mexican-Americans as enemies of the state at our national museum, was egregious.”  Since that moment, a desire to present the full picture of Latinos’ contribution to the military simmered in Aguirre.

Filling in the gaps: In the 1990s, he and his wife, Linda Martinez Aguirre, a history teacher whose Mexican-American family also had many members serve in WWII and other wars, decided to fill in gaps in the historical record. They established Latino Advocates for Education (LAE), a nonprofit founded with their friend Rogelio Rodriguez. Together, they started interviewing Latino veterans they knew through family and friends, documenting their service in the U.S. military.  “We would tell somebody to get us the names and photographs of their loved ones,” Aguirre said. “From there, it snowballed.”

The research filled three self-published books: Undaunted Courage: Mexican-American Patriots of World War II; Strength and Honor: Mexican-Americans in the Vietnam War and Freedom Is Not Free: Mexican-Americans in the Korean War. All of the research material and photographs of 2,000-plus veterans profiled in the books are now archived in the Orange County Department of Education website American Patriots of Latino Heritage.

In addition, LAE launched an annual Veterans Day event in 1996 to honor Latino servicemen at Santa Ana College, which was later held at California State University, Fullerton. Organized entirely by Aguirre, his wife and Rodriguez, the event ran for 15 consecutive years. They brought in Latino Medal of Honor recipients and Latino generals to speak about their experiences. Prominent figures gave speeches and presented veterans with certificates commemorating their service, including then-Gov. Gray Davis and Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California. Military vehicles were displayed and bands performed. One year, two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets did a flyover. The Aztec Skydiving team even parachuted into the crowd.

Child of the ’60s: Aguirre said that his time at USC Dornsife was significant in shaping his interest in history. He remembers how his professor Doyce Nunis encouraged him to pursue his doctorate in California history.

“I was very impressed by that,” Aguirre said. For a while he considered the idea. But as a self-described “child of the ’60s,” Aguirre was inspired by the civil rights movement and decided to earn his law degree. He remembers when he listened to Martin Luther King Jr. speak at USC in 1967 at Bovard Auditorium. “I was very moved by it,” Aguirre said.

I want to show the political maturation of Latinos 
after WWII as a result of their service to this country.

Now when Aguirre isn’t consumed with his work in court, he films his interviews with Latino veterans in hopes of making a documentary about their experiences.  “I want to show the political maturation of Latinos after WWII as a result of their service to this country,” he said.

For instance, upon returning from the war, a number of Latinos took on leadership roles in politics and public service. One was Edward Roybal, who after returning from his military service in WWII, served on the Los Angeles City Council for 13 years and then in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. He also established the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging housed at the USC School of Social Work.

Following his father’s footsteps:

Aguirre’s own father, Alfred Aguirre, after returning from serving in WWII, was elected to the Placentia City Council in 1958; he was the second Latino elected to a city council in Orange County’s history. Aguirre keeps a photograph of his father in his judge’s chambers as a reminder of the contribution Latinos have made in the military.

The image shows Alfred Aguirre in uniform in Honolulu during his basic training in 1945. He’s walking down the street with his best friend. The elder Aguirre, forced to drop out of school at age 14 to support his mother and siblings after the death of his father, went on to join the Army Air Corps of Engineers. His unit built the Kadena Airfield in Japan.

          Aguirre’s father, right, in 1945 (Photo/courtesy of Frederick Aguirre)

“The image is instructive,” Aguirre said. “Here is a Mexican-American kid from segregated schools with a ninth-grade education working as an engineer.  “I am inspired each day seeing this photograph of my father proudly wearing his uniform and serving his country.”

2015 will Bring the Most Latino Congress in U.S. History 
Hola Arkansas! (December 15, 2014)


With 29 Hispanics in the U.S. House of Representatives and three in the U.S. Senate, 2015 will be the most Latino Congress in U.S. history, according to an analysis by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Educational Fund.

The incoming Congress will have one more Latino representative than it does currently, while the number of Latinos in the U.S. Senate remained unchanged at three. "Latino candidates made history on election night, securing groundbreaking victories in contests across the country and in both political parties," Executive Director of NALEO Education Fund Arturo Vargas said in a press statement. "Latinos will continue to shape the nation's political landscape as candidates, demonstrating their ability to lead and win at all levels of office."

The incoming class of Latino Congress members leans toward the left, with Democrats making up almost three out of four of the 32. The largest Hispanic delegation comes from the state of California, with 10 members, all of whom are representatives. Texas will send the second-highest number of Latino members of Congress, with seven --six representatives, and one senator.

Five new Hispanic faces will join the U.S. House of Representatives next year, including two Democrats and three Republicans. Alex Mooney, a Republican, will become West Virginia's first Latino U.S. Representative.

Despite the steady progress boosting their numbers, Latino representation in the U.S. Congress still isn't nearly consistent with the Hispanic share of the population. Latinos make up some 8 percent of U.S. Congress members, but 17 percent of the population as a whole.

The U.S. Representatives are: Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ); Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Grace Flores Napolitano (D-CA), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Norma Torres (D-CA), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Lucille Roybal (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA); Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Carlos Ruberlo (R-FL), Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL); Raul Labrador (R-ID), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Albino Sires (D-NJ), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ); Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-MN), Ben R. Lujan (D-NM); Nidia Velazquez (D-Y), Jose Serrano (D-Y); Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Bill Flores (R-TX), Joaquin Castro (D-TX),Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Jaime Herrrera Beutler (R-TX), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Alex Mooney (R-WV) West Virginia.

Source:  National Institute for Latino Policy,  



How DACA Has Improved the Lives of Undocumented Young People  

SOURCE: AP/J Pat Carter. Niouseline St. Jean, an undocumented immigrant from Turks and Caicos Islands, 
talks to the media about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Miami, Florida.

By Zenen Jaimes Pérez

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

August marked the two-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Apart from temporarily deferring their deportations from the United States, DACA also gives eligible undocumented youth and young adults access to renewable two-year work permits and Social Security numbers.

Two years out, we now have a clearer picture of the benefits DACA has provided many undocumented young people. It has allowed them to achieve better economic opportunity, attain higher education, enroll in health insurance, and participate more in their local communities.

As of July, 587,366 undocumented young people had received both relief from deportation and a work permit, out of the more than 680,000 undocumented young people who have so far applied for DACA. However, many more can still qualify. Around 1.2 million undocumented young people were immediately eligible for the DACA program when it began, but an additional 426,000 could apply if they met further qualifications. Another 473,000 children, who are currently younger than 15 years old, will age into the program.

Additionally, in the coming months, hundreds of thousands of DACA beneficiaries will need to renew their DACA. Community organizations, families, and DACA beneficiaries themselves will need to make sure that they meet the renewal deadline and fees set by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. The stakes are high, as failure to renew properly could mean a loss of both work authorization and deferral from deportation.

Despite the challenges of renewing DACA and making sure more qualifying young people apply for it, DACA has significantly affected the lives of undocumented young people, as well as on the nation. It is also worth noting that DACA has laid the groundwork for future comprehensive immigration reform by starting the process of registering undocumented young people for potential legal status.

This issue brief discusses the top benefits that DACA provides immigrant youth and takes a look at how the program has helped our economy and society. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama created a new policy that called for deferred action for eligible undocumented youth and young adults who came to the country as children. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants are granted deferral of deportation from the United States, as well as access to Social Security numbers and renewable two-year work permits.

To qualify for DACA, undocumented young people must meet the requirements listed below and pay $465 for filing fees and biometric services, such as fingerprints. So far, undocumented immigrants and their families have paid a total of more than $300 million in program fees.

To be eligible for DACA, unauthorized immigrants must meet the following official requirements from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS:

  • Have passed a background check
  • Have been born on or after June 16, 1981
  • Have come to the United States before their 16th birthday
  • Not have lawful immigration status and be at least 15 years old
  • Have continuously lived in the country since June 15, 2007
  • Have been present in the country on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012
  • Have graduated high school, have obtained a GED certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or armed forces, or currently attend school on the date that they submit their deferred action application
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense
  • Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses
  • Not pose a threat to national security or public safety

In August 2014, renewals for DACA began. All 587,366 DACA beneficiaries must submit renewal request about 120 days before the expiration of their current period of deferred action. According to the official requirements from the USCIS, they must continue to meet the initial DACA guidelines, pay an additional $465 for filing fees and biometric services, and have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advanced parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since the submission of the most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

DACA improves economic opportunities for undocumented young people

DACA has opened new doors for undocumented youth, leading to a stronger economy for everyone. Under DACA, undocumented youth are able to apply for and receive temporary work permits. For many, this means the ability to find a job for the first time. For others, it means being able to exit the informal economy and move on to better-paying jobs.

In fact, a recent survey of “DACAmented” young people—undocumented immigrants who have benefited from DACA—indicated that 70 percent of survey respondents reported getting their first job or starting a new job. Additionally, 45 percent reported an earnings increase.

It’s not just undocumented youth who have benefited from work permits, however; the United States as a whole has. Extending work permits to DACA recipients translates into higher tax revenues as these young people get on the books, earn more, and start paying more in payroll taxes. These revenues support vital programs such as Social Security and Medicare—even as undocumented immigrants are unable to access these and other social safety net programs.

Undocumented young people have also benefited in other ways. Almost 50 percent of DACA beneficiaries surveyed have opened their first bank account, and 33 percent have obtained their first credit card. These shifts allow young people to spend their new earnings on purchases throughout their communities and to generate new jobs as businesses strive to meet the higher demand for goods and services. These benefits are especially important because many undocumented young people live in economically vulnerable positions. According to The Migration Policy Institute, an estimated 34 percent of those immediately eligible for DACA lived in families with annual incomes below100 percent of the federal poverty line.

Undocumented young people can achieve higher educational attainment

While DACA has increased the ability of undocumented young people to achieve greater economic opportunity, some evidence shows that it is also increasing educational attainment. To qualify for DACA, a young person must have graduated from high school, passed the GED exam, or be currently enrolled in and attending school. An additional 426,000 undocumented young people could qualify for the program if they meet these educational requirements. This has encouraged more undocumented young people to return to school to complete their education and potentially transition to higher education.

Additionally, DACA has helped some undocumented students complete higher education. In some states, such as Arizona, DACA recipients can enroll in some public community colleges at in-state tuition rates. Virginia recently changed its policy to allow DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition.

Over the past 14 years, states have taken action to allow undocumented young people to pay lower and more affordable tuition fees for their states’ public colleges and universities. In 2001, Texas was the first state to pass legislation that changed its residency requirements so undocumented young people could qualify for in-state tuition. Several states followed. California changed its requirements in 2001, while Utah and New York did so in 2002. Washington and Illinois changed theirs in 2003; Kansas changed its in 2004; New Mexico changed its in 2005; and Nebraska changed its in 2006. Maryland and Connecticut changed their requirements in 2011, and Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon did so in 2013. Florida did so this year. Hawaii, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Virginia also offer in-state tuition in many of their public colleges and universities; they do so through decisions of their state boards of higher education or advising from their state attorneys general.

DACA has also helped many undocumented students stay in school. The wider student population typically says that it leaves school due to a lack of academic preparation. Undocumented students, however, say that finances force them to leave. This phenomenon, known as “stopping out”—leaving higher education for a certain period of time but intending to come back—has been reduced by work authorization that allows undocumented students to hold higher-paying jobs in order to finance their education.

The Social Security numbers granted to DACA beneficiaries have also helped many undocumented students access financial help for higher education. Current federal law continues to prohibit all undocumented students from accessing federal financial aid, including Pell Grants and the Federal Work-Study Program. DACA beneficiaries, however, can still fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, with their Social Security numbers; this means they can receive their Estimated Family Contribution number, which allows them to petition their schools for institutional aid that is available to all students.

DACA reduces feelings of disconnect

Deferral-from-removal action and work authorization have given hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people increased peace of mind. DACA recipients can more comfortably move through their daily routines: Sixty-six percent of respondents to one survey agreed to the statement, “I am no longer afraid because of my immigration status.” Additionally, 64 percent agreed with the statement, “I feel more like I belong in the U.S.” Reduced feelings of disconnect can have enormous positive effects for individuals and their communities. It allows young people to have greater peace of mind, which translates to greater participation in the economy and in civic life.

Another survey showed that DACA has also enabled 57 percent of undocumented young people to obtain a driver’s license. Forty-eight states allow DACA recipients to obtain a driver’s license, with only two states—Arizona and Nebraska—prohibiting them from doing so. In these two states, DACA beneficiaries have access to in-state tuition at some public colleges and universities, but they cannot obtain a driver’s license to get around campus and the surrounding area.

Access to a driver’s license and identification cards means better safety for all drivers and has given undocumented young people greater job opportunities. Additionally, driver’s licenses and identification cards can have enormous effects on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, undocumented young people. About 10 percent of DACA recipients surveyed also identified as LGBT. This community—and, in particular, transgender individuals—often need proper identification in order to participate fully in society. Without this, undocumented LGBT immigrants can see heightened discrimination from law enforcement or other service providers.

Indeed, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that although undocumented immigrants account for less than 3 percent of the total adult LGBT population in the United States, they represent nearly 8 percent of LGBT hate violence survivors. However, LGBT and HIV-affected undocumented survivors of violence were 1.7 times more likely than the general LGBT community to report incidents to the police. This could be linked to mandatory first responder reports to the police or to greater education and outreach to LGBT undocumented survivors, who feel because of DACA that they can report violence.

Civic engagement and participation increases with DACA

While many undocumented young people were highly political prior to DACA, evidence shows that civic engagement has only continued to grow. More than 50 percent of respondents to a survey believed that their immigrant status empowered them to advocate for their community. This has led to civic participation rates that eclipse that of the general population. According to the 2012 American National Election Study, or ANES, only 6 percent of respondents participated in a political rally or demonstration, compared with 41 percent of DACA recipients. Additionally, 41 percent of DACA recipients had contacted members of Congress, compared with the 21 percent of ANES respondents.

DACA recipients also connect their families to civic life. More than 30 percent of DACA recipients reported getting most of their information regarding immigration, including immigration reform, from online sources. Another survey also indicated that 90 percent of DACA recipients have family that would benefit from immigration reform. Young people are a key source of information for their families on immigration policy issues, and they will be a cornerstone to advocate for the implementation of any future reforms for millions of other undocumented immigrants as well.

Undocumented youth have gained some access to health care

Although undocumented immigrants are not eligible for the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, DACA recipients have still gained more access to health care. Washington state, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, the District of Columbia, and California allow low-income DACA recipients to enroll in health insurance. By not using federal funds for the programs that help cover undocumented residents, these states were able to bypass restrictions around the ACA; the District of Columbia, for example, allows all immigrants regardless of status to enroll in health insurance. In California, as many as 127,000 DACA recipients qualify to enroll in exclusively state-funded Medi-Cal programs. The #Health4All campaign in California has engaged thousands of undocumented young people to learn if they qualify.

Additionally, many undocumented young people have enrolled in college or university health care plans or have received new employment-based plans. This has led to a 21 percent increase in the number of undocumented young people with DACA that have obtained health insurance. Greater enrollment in health insurance has enormous positive effects on public health.

However, these small fixes do not provide comprehensive care. DACA recipients are still barred from the ACA, and a recent report showed that, in California alone, 50 percent of undocumented young people delayed getting the medical care they needed. Of these people, 96 percent cited lack of insurance as the main reason.

DACA has benefited the families of undocumented young people

Undocumented young people are often not the only undocumented person in their family. More than 80 percent of DACA recipients reported having an undocumented parent, and more than half have undocumented siblings. In families where everyone is undocumented, DACA has allowed young people to provide more services to their families. Access to driver’s licenses, the ability to open bank accounts, and even things such as renting equipment from stores that they can use for employment, have allowed more undocumented families to participate in the economy.

More action is needed

DACA has provided enormous benefits to undocumented young people. However, 66 percent still report feeling anxious or angry because their families cannot qualify. About 2 million people have faced deportation during the past six years, the equivalent to wiping out the entire combined populations of Boston, Massachusetts; Miami, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and St. Louis, Missouri. These removals devastate communities and leave broken families behind in the United States. A recent Center for American Progress report outlines some of the executive actions President Obama should consider to repair our broken immigration system, including expanding deferred action to more undocumented immigrants.

Despite its successes, DACA has been only a partial fix, largely benefitting those with the most education. This is partly due to the ability of such young people to leverage their credentials in the job market. Additionally, more outreach is needed to make sure that all qualifying young people enroll or renew on time.

The benefits would also run much deeper and wider if Congress were to pass comprehensive immigration reform and create a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. In the meantime, the president can expand the use of deferred action beyond DACA to other individuals who are not priorities for deportation given their length of U.S. residence, their stable employment, or the fact that they have children living with them. This expansion could help stabilize families, communities, and local economies across the country.

Zenen Jaimes Pérez is a Policy Advocate for Generation Progress, the youth division of the Center for American Progress.  

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.



José Antonio Crespo-Francés

Acompaño este sencillo trabajo que da inicio a una serie.  Espero pueda interesar, JACrespo-Francés

El domingo 7 de diciembre de 2014 en la sección Informes de la publicación digital aparece el artículo titulado ”El Lejano oeste español olvidado: De Pedro Rivera a José Antonio de Rubí (1)”. Con esta serie de artículo se pretende recordar los trabajos de reconocimiento de la frontera del norte para proteger Nueva España de incursiones extranjeras y de las tribus nómadas dentro del proyecto borbónico de racionalizar los medios para obtener un mejor rendimiento de los mismos acabando con todos los posibles vicios y errores de organización. 

El Lejano oeste español olvidado: 
De Pedro Rivera a José Antonio de Rubí (1)

Domingo 07 de diciembre de 2014 20:39



Juan de Oñate, hijo de Cristóbal, hombre de mediana edad, nacido en 1550, fue el que realizó el sueño acariciado por tantos años de llevar a cabo la colonización de Nuevo México. Oñate se había casado con Isabel Tolosa Cortés, hija de Juanes Tolosa, cofundador de Zacatecas, y de Leonor Cortés de Moctezuma, hermanastra de Martín Cortés, hijo de Hernán Cortés. Oñate, bravo guerrero, había ganado fama luchando en el norte contra los bravos indios nómadas que atacaban continuamente a las poblaciones de la frontera norte, también se había convertido en un experto en minería, ya que de la explotación de las minas procedía la mayor parte de su fortuna. Así la evangelización, la plata, el ganado, la ambición y la llamada de lo desconocido y el mito como motor de exploración, donde palpitaba el

eco de las siete ciudades de Cíbola y Quivira, rompieron el cerco hacia el norte, empujando la frontera hacia el gran río del Norte, en ese rápido movimiento que termina a principios del siglo XVIII, en el que se inicia un profundo mestizaje con los pueblos que van encontrando, pero que continúa por la costa noroeste americana alcanzando hasta Alaska, estableciéndose el presidio más norteño del Impero Español en Nootka, en la actual Canadá.

Por José Antonio Crespo-Francés*
Leer: El Lejano oeste español olvidado: De Pedro Rivera a José Antonio de Rubí (1)
* Coronel en situación de Reserva

El Lejano oeste español olvidado:

De Pedro Rivera a José Antonio de Rubí (1)

Por José Antonio Crespo-Francés*

En memoria de Pedro Rivera Ortega de Nuevo México †


El Rey Felipe V de España emite una clarísima Real Cédula en 17 de noviembre de 1744 al Virrey de Nueva España donde da instrucciones precisas para los nuevos asentamientos así como de que “las escoltas de soldados estuvieran a las órdenes de los misioneros sin emprender acciones que no fuesen con su mandato, para que así no se atemorizasen y ahuyentasen los Indios, a quien es necesario (dice el Rey) tener en temor y respeto para que no intenten alevosías ; y tratar con halago para desvanecer su desconfianza, y al mismo tiempo darles ejemplo de buenas costumbres”.

Presidios centralizados 1680-17701

1 ARNAL, Luis: El sistema presidial en el septentrión novohispano, evolución y estrategias de poblamiento.Scripta Nova, Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Barcelona. Vol. X, núm. 218 (26), 1 de agosto de 2006

El siglo XVII en Nueva España se caracterizó por ser una etapa de sublevaciones de diversos grupos de nativos americanos habitantes del territorio desde antes de la llegada de los españoles. El sigo siguiente, el XVIII, y sobre todo su segunda mitad, se caracterizó por los ataques de unos recién llegados grupos nómadas, los apaches, procedentes del norte presionados por otros grupos más fieros, los comanches.

El siglo XVIII se abre con la nueva dinastía de Borbón que reinaría en el Imperio Español tras ser coronado como rey Felipe V en Madrid, en febrero de 1701. La Guerra de Sucesión, una auténtica guerra civil, que durante doce años asoló gran parte de España no tuvo tal reflejo en las Indias que, desde tres años antes con la paz de Ryswick, no sufrían los asaltos de los corsarios franceses, ahora aliados de la Corte de Madrid, ni de los ingleses, aliados con la Casa de Austria y sus partidarios españoles. Los primeros años del siglo fueron en las Indias, y por tanto en Nueva España y en sus territorios del norte, una época de paz, prosperidad, expansión colonizadora y creación de riqueza, detenida sólo por la menor afluencia de nuevos pobladores, como consecuencia
de dicha guerra.

A la paz de Utrecht siguió un mayor desarrollo, apoyado por las reformas borbónicas emprendidas en la administración de cara a su
modernización. Se fundaron misiones, pueblos, reales de minas y haciendas ganaderas en Sonora. En Sinaloa, se rompió la prolongada detención en Culiacán y se empezó a ver surgir explotaciones mineras y ganaderas. En Nuevo México, resurgieron y se mejoraron Santa Fe y los pueblos destruidos por la feroz sublevación de 1680 y se fundaron otros nuevos asentamientos.

Dentro de las reformas hubo una a la que se refiere en este trabajo y es de carácter miliar. Por primera vez en la Nueva España se organizó un ejército propiamente dicho, con carácter profesional y permanente sin perder la estructura tan española de las milicias, que son el origen de la Guardia Nnacional de los EEUU, con dos gobernadores y capitanes generales a la vez que fueron, en Florida Pedro Menéndez de Avilés (1565), y en Nuevo México Juan de Oñate (1598). Como parte de este proyecto militar reformista, se llevarían a cabo las visitas de Pedro Rivera, primero, y luego la del marqués de Rubí para recorrer los presidios de la frontera del norte, con fines muy semejantes los de éste a los del brigadier Rivera 50 años atrás, por un lado buscar una reducción del gasto de los presidios y por otro mejorar su función militar. Rubí realizó un largo recorrido por los presidios y decidió
finalmente que éstos 

se colocaran en una línea que seguía muy de cerca el paralelo 30º, hasta donde llegaban efectivamente los dominios de la Corona, con la única excepción de Santa Fe y San Antonio de Béjar, situados en avanzadilla respecto a la línea fronteriza. El criterio de Rubí tuvo un carácter netamente militar, ubicar presidios de tal manera que impidieran la entrada de los nómadas, y a la vez que, en su caso, se facilitara la persecución y castigo de los atacantes.

La península de California estaba ya evangelizada por las misiones de los jesuitas, que fundaron varios pueblos, de los que los más importantes fueron Loreto y el puerto de La Paz. Al norte de Tampico surgió la nueva provincia de Nuevo Santander, con las colonias fundadas por el coronel José de Escandón, que pronto fueron prósperos pueblos agrícolas y mineros. Y en cuanto a Texas también fue importante la labor misionera y colonizadora, fundándose misiones y pueblos entre los que destacó San Antonio de Béjar.

Sólo Coahuila, debido a sus extremas condiciones de climatología con su extraordinaria sequedad, continuó durante muchos años como provincia despoblada, con sólo algunos pueblos mineros, como La Monclova, llegándose a pensar en anexionarla a Nueva Vizcaya o Nuevo León. En 1734 se estableció una gobernación que de sur a norte abarcaba las provincias de Sinaloa, Ostimuri y Sonora, con cabecera en esta última, la más extensa y de mayor potencial económico y expansivo2.

La frontera del norte era una línea inmensa, difícil de cubrir constantemente atacada por tribus nómadas que acosaban tanto a los asentamientos de colonos españoles como a los poblados de tribus sedentarias. Desde las iniciales exploraciones costeras y continentales dirigidas hacia el norte del continente americano realizadas en el siglo XVI, la frontera del norte era un lugar lejano que comenzó a causar preocupación cuando se tuvieron noticias de que otras potencias se interesaban por aquellos territorios.

Además de la amenaza creciente de los nómadas, los españoles tuvieron que enfrentarse en la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII con una amenaza exterior consistente en la expansión europea desde el norte. Tanto los franceses, como rusos e ingleses avanzaban lenta yamenazadoramente desde sus posesiones en Norteamérica sin ocultar un claro interés por alcanzar hasta las ricas explotaciones 

2 RODRÍGUEZ PÉREZ, Gabriel: El norte de Nueva España en tiempos de Carlos III, Revista de Historia Militar nº 91, 2001.


mineras un claro interés por alcanzar hasta las ricas explotaciones mineras situadas en el norte de Nueva España. Esta situación cambió la visión sobre la frontera del norte pues pasó de ser exclusivamente una amplia  frontera con territorios desconocidos, habitada por nómadas belicosos, a convertirse en una frontera con los movimientos expansivo de otras potencias europeas. A esto se añade la guerra europea de los Siete Años (1757-1763), que puso de manifiesto la nueva condición de la frontera del norte. En esa guerra, Francia perdió sus principales colonias americanas, Canadá y la Luisiana. Por su parte Inglaterra, que resultó la gran vencedora, conservó Canadá para sí, y España, aliada de Francia, recibió como compensación La Florida3.

Conforme avanzó el siglo XVIII las autoridades españoles mostraron un creciente interés por la situación de las provincias septentrionales del virreinato de la Nueva España. Era evidente que la ocupación de esas provincias era una empresa sumamente complicada, especialmente por las grandes distancias que había entre ellas y el centro del virreinato y por la belicosidad tan manifiesta de los pobladores indígenas.

A raíz del enorme levantamiento de 1680, como se vio, la Corona comenzó a establecer varios presidios a lo largo de esas provincias, desde Sonora hasta Texas. En el norte de la Nueva Vizcaya funcionaban cinco presidios hacia 1730: Paso del Norte, Casas Grandes, San Francisco de Conchos, Valle de San Bartolomé y Janos. En la porción sureña estaban los de Cerro Gordo, Gallo, Pasaje, Santa Catalina Tepehuanes, Cuencamé y Mapimí. El costo de esos presidios, sufragado con fondos de las cajas reales de Zacatecas, Guadalajara, Sombrerete y Guanajuato, era enorme y crecía año con año. Si en 1701 la Corona erogaba alrededor 226 000 al año en el sostenimiento de los presidios a lo largo del Septentrión, en 1725 el costo se había elevado a casi 445
000. La presencia de expedicionarios franceses en Texas, confirmada en 1689, había alarmado aún más a la Corona española. Las
sublevaciones de tarahumaras y conchos habían quedado atrás, pero apaches y europeos extranjeros comenzaban a amenazar las provincias septentrionales, cuya riqueza minera no era desconocida para franceses e ingleses. 

Al igual que las misiones, los presidios se convirtieron en un eslabón importante de la ocupación española. Ello fue así no sólo por su función de resguardar caminos y de perseguir a bandas de indios
rebeldes. Los presidios eran verdaderos rebeldes. 

3 ABOITES, Luis: Breve historia de Chihuahua.


Los presidios eran verdaderos centros de poblamiento, pues además de las familias de los soldados algunos vecinos optaron por
vivir en las inmediaciones en razón de la seguridad que ofrecía el contingente militar. En algunos casos los núcleos de habitantes civiles cobraron tal solidez y estabilidad que la desaparición del presidio — decidida en las altas esferas gubernamentales de España o de la ciudad de México— no significaba la desaparición de dichos asentamientos civiles. Así ocurrió por ejemplo con el presidio de San Francisco de Conchos, suprimido en 1751.

En la primera mitad del siglo, el año 1724 debemos recordarlo, entre otras cosas, porque el brigadier español Pedro de Rivera y Villalón, otro de tantos olvidados, fue comisionado para llevar a cabo la inspección de las defensas en la lejana frontera del norte de la Nueva España y en general conocer de primera mano la situación de esas provincias con el objetivo de racionalizar el gasto a la vez que mejorar la capacidad militar de los establecimientos presidiales. Rivera afirma en sus notas: "No hay otros enemigos más que los apaches4 ... si bien creo no padeceré equivocación, pues las inhumanidades, asechanzas y  perfidias de aquella bárbara nación, acreditadas con infinitos lastimosos sucesos, contristan el ánimo, agitan el enojo y hacen el nombre apache, aborrecible".

En ese mismo año los franceses establecen un puesto comercial en el poblado principal de la gente kansa5, en la boca del río del mismo nombre, que es remontado por Étienne de Veniard, sieur de Bourgmont y ahora comandante francés del Missouri, para conseguir una alianza con los comanches contra los españoles. La mayoría de los investigadores suponen que los indios padouca6, 

4 La Apachería en el siglo XVIII. 5 La nación Kaw, Kanza, o Kansa, son actualmente un pueblo reconocido como tribu de Oklahoma. Proceden de la parte central y medio oeste de los Estados Unidos de América. La tribu conocida como Kaw también ha sido conocido como el "Pueblo del Viento del Sur", y "La gente de agua", bajo las voces Kansa, Kaza, Kosa, y también Kasa. Su lenguaje, Kansa, se encuentra clasificado como una lengua sioux. El topónimo "Kansas" se deriva del nombre de esta tribu. El nombre de Topeka,  capital de Kansas, procede de la palabra Tó Ppí Kˀé que significa "un buen lugar para cultivar patatas". Los Kaw están estrechamente relacionados mediante parentesco con la nación Osage, con la que sus miembros establecían relaciones matrimoniales.

6 Los comanches son una tribu amerindia nativa de la Comancheria, territorio que comprendería el este de Nuevo México, sudeste de Colorado y Kansas, todo Oklahoma y bastante del noreste y sureste de Texas. Se. Hoy, la nación comanche está constituida aproximadamente por 10.000 miembros; cerca de la mitad reside en Oklahoma y, el resto, en Texas, California y Nuevo México. Hay varias teorías sobre el origen del nombre Comanche. La más aceptada es que deriva de Komantcia, una corrupción del español de "Kohmahts", el nombre dado por los Ute a la gente. "Kohmahts" es traducido varias veces como "enemigo", "el que quiere luchar", "contra el que se va a luchar", o "extranjero", que es el más lógico.


con los que comercia en un lugar cercano a la antigua Quivira7 del 18 al 22 de octubre son, en realidad, comanches, incluso hay quien los agrupa como apaches. También en ese mismo año, los comanches atacan a los apaches jicarillas. En una batalla que dura nueve días en El Gran Cerro de El Fierro8 matan a casi todos los hombres y capturan a muchas mujeres y niños. En poco tiempo desaparecen los asentamientos apaches en la parte alta del río Arkansas.

En ese ambiente se llevaría a cabo la inspección teniendo como uno de sus trabajos más importantes y que no es baladí, el establecimiento de distancias exactas, rumbos y ubicación de puntos. Recordemos que estamos en la Ilustración y los aspectos científicos toman una especial relevancia9.

Según relata Aboites los presidios contaban en tiempos de la inspección de Rivera con un capitán como comandante del presidio y
un destacamento que variaba entre 25 y 100 soldados. Cada soldado, que ganaba un sueldo de 450 pesos al año y tenía 10 caballos, lo cual obligaba al establecimiento a contar con un gran rebaño que exigía tierra de pasto, corrales y agua, así como un dispositivo permanente de  vigilancia. Rivera confirmó en su informe que algunos capitanes de los presidios cometían abusos pues ejercían como intermediarios que revendían mercancías a altos precios a sus propios soldados, siendo común en algunos lugares el que los soldados fueran empelados en labores agrícolas o ganaderas.

De otra parte también se dice que puede venir del español camino ancho. Los primeros exploradores franceses y estadounidenses conocían a los comanches como los padouca o paduca, su nombre en la lengua Siouan. Los comanches preferían llamarse los Numunuu, que quiere decir "el Pueblo" o "las personas".
7 Kansas.
8 Noreste de Nuevo México; la fecha y la ubicación exactas se desconocen.
9 GARZA MARTÍNEZ, Valentina:
Medidas y caminos en la época colonial: expediciones, visitas y viajes al norte de la Nueva España (siglos XVI-XVIII).


Los diarios y derroteros de los viajes a los presidios del norte de la Nueva España que escribieron el brigadier Pedro de Rivera (1724-1728) y el ingeniero militar Nicolás Lafora10 (1766-1767) por orden del rey constituyen, como afirma la profesora Garza, monumentos documentales de valor incalculable para el conocimiento de lageografía novohispana. En estos viajes se fijaron las coordenadas geográficas de muchas poblaciones mientras se señalaban las distancias, los rumbos, las longitudes y las latitudes en cada jornada. El primer viaje tuvo una duración de 3 años y 9 meses, y el total de leguas recorridas a caballo fue 3.08211, se hicieron visitas, inspecciones y recorridos por los presidios, cambiando algunos de lugar, haciendo desaparecer otros y reforzando la mayoría para mantener la frontera bajo control12. El segundo viaje, de 1767, duró 708 días y se anduvieron 2.936 leguas.

10 MEZA, Robinson: Visión de la frontera Norte de Nueva España por Nicolás de Lafora (1766-1768) 
11 Una Legua = 4,8280 Kilómetros
12 PORRAS NUÑOZ, Guillermo:
Diario y derrotero de lo caminado, visto y observado, D. Pedro de Rivera, México, Porrúa, 1945. Citado por Luis Arnal Simón en Evolución del presidio novohispano y su plaza en la función urbana.

En Nueva España, y en general en América, a pesar de entrar de lleno el Descubrimiento en la Edad Moderna, se trasplantó el sistema medieval de defensa territorial a base de castillos situados en puntos dominantes sobre zonas de paso naturales que luego servían para la fundación de nuevas poblaciones.

Este sistema aplicado en la península ibérica a lo largo de 800 años se trasplantó a América junto con el sistema de reclutamiento de milicias, es decir el ciudadano o campesino convertido en soldado alternando sus cometidos de colono y de defensa del territorio. En el caso concreto de Nueva España, en su inmensidad territorial, imposible de cubrir y menos en su frontera norte, el poblamiento y distribución de asentamientos fueron una constante preocupación de las autoridades virreinales, estableciendo unos procedimientos de defensa y mantenimiento de la gran frontera, fundando asentamientos y empleando en una combinación, en función de cada circunstancia, los conceptos de persuasión, conversión y fuerza, para ejercer un mejor control de las fronteras de la Nueva España. La palabra conquista como sabemos quedó erradicada desde el nacimiento de las Leyes de Indias quedando ordenado se sustituyeran por los de asentamiento y poblamiento.

Se trataba de una frontera móvil y permeable con puntos débiles por donde penetraban las tribus nómadas dispuestas al saqueo, lo cual hacía más difícil la fundación de asentamientos, que sólo podían sostenerse con la presencia de una red presidial; sistema que fue perfeccionándose en Nueva España hasta alcanzar tal importancia que, debemos afirmar, fue el principal instrumento de defensa,
asentamiento y poblamiento, y por lo tanto, de consolidación de los factores de producción desde el siglo XVI al XVIII.



Itinerario general seguido por Pedro Rivera en 1728. Las compañías presídiales se regían por reglamentos propios. En 1728 el brigadier Pedro de Rivera realizó una visita a los presidios de las Provincias Internas por orden del virrey marqués de Casafuerte. Resultado de ello fue el Reglamento de 1729. Más tarde, en 1752, el virrey Revillagigedo13 emitió unas Ordenanzas que actualizaron el Reglamento de Rivera. De acuerdo con el Reglamento, para ser soldado del presidial era necesario gozar de buena salud, ser alto, católico y comprometerse a un servicio inicial de diez años. Después de la visita de Rivera se procuró rejuvenecer al personal. El nombramiento de los oficiales correspondía al virrey; el capitán sólo podía nombrar soldados interinos. El Reglamento prohibió que los capitanes utilizaran a sus subordinados para que trabajaran en haciendas o minas propiedad del primero o que los segundos salieran del presidio para realizar trabajos ajenos a su deber.


Al igual que en la Reconquista en la península ibérica, las órdenes religiosas, en este caso, responsables de la evangelización, así como los nuevos colonos tenían la posibilidad de ganar tierras para ponerlas en producción tanto para la producción de recursos agrícolas como para la extracción de recursos mineros.

13 Juan Francisco de Güemes y Horcasitas, 1er.Conde de Revillagigedo y capitán general de Cuba. Fue el 41º virrey de Nueva España, nombrado por Fernando VI. Ejerció su cargo entre el 9 de julio de 1746 y el 9 de noviembre de1755


Los descubrimientos de minas, como las de plata de Zacatecas, así como de inmensos campos agrícolas en el septentrión novohispano, sumando a ello el rápido crecimiento de la ganadería durante el siglo XVI, permitieron la expansión humana hacia el norte14.

En ese territorio encontramos zonas semidesérticas con poblamientos nativos en forma de reducidos grupos de familias que se movían permanentemente en una vida seminómada en función de las estaciones en busca de refugio y alimentos, recorriendo enorme
distancias, acampando y cazando, relacionándose esporádicamente con otros grupos con los que se encontraban, intercambiando objetos diversos y conocimiento del territorio.

Las tierras novohispanas se encuentran atravesadas de norte a sur por enormes sierras y cordilleras, con barrancos impresionantes, allí se encontraron minas, reservas de agua, extensas llanuras y territorios vacíos que parecían infinitos, y ante los que quedaban empequeñecidos los recuerdos de la geografía europea, pero a los que se trasladó la toponimia de su memoria y de sus creencias, pudiendo conocerse el lugar de procedencia de los colonos, muchas veces, por los nombres con los que eran bautizados las nuevas villas y ciudades. Sobre aquella inmensidad se fueron planeando y ejecutando los caminos, a base de tracción animal y por medio de carretas, al igual que las vías romanas cruzan la península ibérica, iniciándose con ello un fructuoso intercambio de productos y recursos de todo tipo.

Al igual que en la Reconquista se mantuvo el procedimiento de obtención de tierras por méritos en campaña y favores a la Corona. Con ello los capitanes de frontera, mineros y aventureros se fueron convirtiendo en grandes señores, empujando la frontera cada vez más hacia el norte.

Zacatecas y Santa Fe representan el pistoletazo de salida de la expansión hacia el norte; los ricos campos mineros alrededor de
Zacatecas, y el mito del siglo XVI de las siete ciudades de Cíbola y Quivira, simbolizan de una manera clara las dos circunstancias sobre las que se movía el interés de aquellos personajes: la plata y la aventura. Dos ilusiones, de las que fueron protagonistas aquellos
habitantes que iniciaban el encuentro con una nueva identidad. Esas dos ciudades unirían el destino de dos personajes padre de hijo, Cristóbal y Juan de Oñate.

14 ARNAL, Luis (Facultad de Arquitectura, UNAM): El sistema presidial en el septentrión novohispano, evolución y estrategias de poblamiento.

Cristóbal de Oñate15, hombre de gran iniciativa y espíritu guerrero, compañero de Cortés en la conquista de México, fue uno de los cuatro fundadores de Zacatecas, cuyas cabezas figuran, por disposición de Felipe II, en el escudo de armas de la ciudad. Los otros tres fundadores eran Juanes de Tolosa “Barbalonga”, Diego de Ybarra y Baltasar Temiño de Bañuelos. Don Cristóbal había reemplazado a Coronado como gobernador de Nueva Galicia durante el tiempo que aquel había intentado la conquista de Nuevo México, más tarde desarrolló la explotación de las ricas minas de plata de Zacatecas.

15 Cristóbal de Oñate, vasco de la villa de su nombre, centro puntero en la formación superior con la Universidad de Oñate, en la enseñanza universitaria de aquel tiempo y que irradió su saber hacia América, sería un hecho indeleble que transmitió a su hijo Juan y que le llevó a invertir su patrimonio personal en la fundación del Colegio Imperial en Madrid, donde se formaban religiosos en conocimiento de lenguas nativas americanas.


Juan de Oñate, hijo de Cristóbal, hombre de mediana edad, nacido en 1550, fue el que realizó el sueño acariciado por tantos años de llevar a cabo la colonización de Nuevo México. Oñate se había casado con Isabel Tolosa Cortés, hija de Juanes Tolosa, cofundador de Zacatecas, y de Leonor Cortés de Moctezuma, hermanastra de Martín Cortés, hijo de ernán Cortés. Don Juan de Oñate era criollo, o sea nacido en la Ciudad de México de padres españoles. Su esposa Isabel, era nieta de Hernán Cortés y biznieta de Moctezuma, así el mismo Oñate simboliza en su familia la principal riqueza de la Hispanidad, el mestizaje. Oñate, bravo guerrero, había ganado fama luchando en el norte contra los bravos indios nómadas que atacaban continuamente a las poblaciones de la
frontera norte, también se había convertido en un experto en minería, ya que de la explotación de las minas procedía la mayor parte de su fortuna.

Así la evangelización, la plata, el ganado, la ambición y la llamada de lo desconocido y el mito como motor de exploración, donde palpitaba el eco de las siete ciudades de Cíbola y Quivira, rompieron el cerco hacia el norte, empujando la frontera hacia el gran río del Norte, en ese rápido movimiento que termina a principios del siglo XVIII, en el que se inicia un profundo mestizaje con los pueblos que van encontrando, pero que continúa por la costa noroeste americana alcanzando hasta Alaska, estableciéndose el presidio más norteño del Impero Español en Nootka, en la actual Canadá.

Los caminos fueron variados, el primero, el Camino Real de Tierra Adentro y más importante empezaba en Ciudad de México y terminaba en Santa Fe, en Nuevo México, funcionó como la columna vertebral del camino a partir del que crecieron otros brazos colaterales,

distribuyéndose y conectando presidios, haciendas, pueblos, villas y reales mineros16. Durante el siglo XVII se abrieron otras rutas, la que partía de Durango y se abría al oriente hacia Cuencamé, y Parras, Saltillo, Monclova, San Juan Bautista17, continuando hacia principios del siglo XVIII, hacia el presidio de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de los Adaes, Camino Real de los Tejas que pasaba por San Antonio y los ríos Brazos de Dios, Trinidad y Sabina. Esta ruta de comercio fue también la que ofrecía protección y seguridad de los límites, ante la presencia francesa en Luisiana hasta 1764. 

16 Real de minas se llamaba anteriormente a los lugares donde había grandes yacimientos minerales y por lo tanto se explotaban minas como en Guanajuato, Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Taxco, Hidalgo, etc. En Nueva España. Con el tiempo y como consecuencia de las reformas borbónicas se constituyó el Real Tribunal de Minería, institución constituida por el gremio de mineros que se estableció en la Nueva España en el año de 1777 y que funcionó hasta su cese en 1826.
17 El Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande, fue durante muchos años el más avanzado hacia el norte, contuvo los continuos ataques de los indígenas procedentes de Texas y sirvió como punto de partida para la fundación de nuevas Misiones y creación de nuevos núcleos poblacionales.


No podemos olvidar tampoco la búsqueda de itinerarios hacia California, Camino Real de las Misiones, y desde Santa Fé hacia Los Ángeles a través del que se llamaría por los anglosajones The Old Spanish Trail, el Viejo Sendero Español. Nuevo México fue la punta de lanza del gran norte, allí no se encontró plata, y por ello se estuvo a punto de abandonar la empresa, pero al fin, el rey Felipe III después de estudiar cuidadosamente los informes de Oñate y las recomendaciones del anterior virrey y del Consejo de
Indias, tomó la decisión que marcaría para siempre el destino hispano en Nuevo México. Tal decisión fue manifestada por el Duque de Lerma al virrey Velasco18:

"... que no abandone la conversión de Nuevo México y que se aliente y sostenga la empresa de manera que la difusión del evangelio no fracase en esas provincias por falta de obreros evangélicos y de los mantenimientos necesarios. Que el excelentísimo señor virrey emplee los medios que él crea más adecuados y menos costosos al tesoro real para preservar la Santa Fe Católica en los que ya se han convertido, observando lo que sea necesario y que esté prescrito en las ordenanzas y cédulas referentes a los descubrimientos y su justificación.

Recuérdese que los indios convertidos no deben ser obligados a ser súbditos de su católica majestad, a menos que su perseverancia en la fe sea imposible de otro modo; sino que deben ser dejados en el goce de su libertad y condición nativa en que se encontraban en el momento de conversión. Sería bueno emplear medidas suaves y apropiadas al tratar con ellos para que lleguen a ser súbdito de su majestad por libre determinación sin ser obligados directa o indirectamente...."


La fe y la religiosidad del monarca español prevalecían sobre cualquier consideración de ganancia material. Los hispanos se mantendrían en Nuevo México no para buscar oro ni gloria sino solamente para convertir a los indios al cristianismo y así salvar sus almas. La histórica decisión imprimiría una característica especial al Nuevo México e influiría en su futuro desarrollo dándole un carácter distintivo.

18 Luis de Velasco y Castilla, Marqués de Salinas del Río Pisuerga, que luego sería Virrey del Perú, ejerció el cargo nombrado por Felipe III desde el 2 de julio de 1607 al 17 de junio de 1611, período en el que Pedro de Peralta fundaría Santa Fé. Ya había sido virrey de Nueva España con Felipe II desde el 25 de enero de1590 al 5 de noviembre de1595. Tras el primer virreinado de Velasco le sucedió Gaspar de Zúñiga y Acevedo (1595-1606) durante cuyo mandato se llevó a cabo la entrada de Juan de Oñate, a Zúñiga le sucedió Juan de Mendoza y Luna, tras el que de nuevo detentaría en cargo Velasco.

Con la cesión de Luisiana a España, la frontera española llegaría hasta La Florida, y el camino que terminaba en Natchitoches y el río Rojo se prologaría hasta el río Ouachita, hacia el noreste bajando por el río Rojo, para conectar con las poblaciones de Opelousas y mas allá, hasta la villa de Nueva Orleáns con las nuevas poblaciones fundadas por Bernardo de Gálvez. El camino seguía cruzando el gran río a las Floridas, la occidental: Natchez, Panzacola, Mobila, y la Florida oriental por la ruta de las misiones hasta San Marcos y daba término en San Agustín.

Luisiana fue el nombre de una gobernación perteneciente a la Capitanía General de Cuba, del Virreinato de Nueva España (1764-1803) con capital en Nueva Orleans. Fue cedido a España tras el Tratado de Fontainebleau (1762) a causa de la pérdida de La Florida (recuperada en 1783) y devuelta a Francia en 1800 por el Tercer Tratado de San Ildefonso.

El acuerdo en la forma propuesta habría incluido el vasto territorio de la Luisiana a ambos lados del río Mississippi, incluyendo lo que en aquellos momentos se conocía con el nombre de país de los Illinois, y se mantuvo en secreto incluso tras la firma del Tratado de París de 1763, que puso formalmente fin a la Guerra de los Siete Años y que escrituraba las tierras al oeste del Mississippi a nombre de los franceses y las situadas al este, incluyendo Baton Rouge y el país de los illinois) a los británicos. El Tratado de París estableció un periodo de dieciocho meses durante los que los franceses canadienses podrían emigrar libremente. Como resultado, muchos de los emigrantes hoy conocidos como cajunes se trasladaron a Luisiana y posteriormente descubrirían que ésta había sido cedida por Francia a España.

19 Las primeras informaciones de los sucesivos exploradores habían presentado a Sonora como un emporio de extraordinaria riqueza minera, especialmente de plata e incluso de oro. Los bajos rendimientos de los primeros intentos de explotación, dada la deficiente técnica aplicada, y los ataques de los belicosos nativos americanos
seris y pimas, más alguna incursión de los apaches, hicieron perder todo el interés por aquel territorio, hasta los viajes del padre Kino. Puede decirse que entonces empezó  a actuarse en forma efectiva para la colonización y evangelización de Sonora, que pasaría a ser una de las más importantes entre las llamadas «provincias internas» de Nueva España.


Otra ruta partía desde Guadalajara por la extensa llanura ubicada entre la cordillera y la costa, atravesando los ríos de Sinaloa, alcanzando hasta la Pimería en Sonora19, ruta que fue inicialmente abierta por  Nuño de Guzmán y después marcada a huella de sandalia misionera por los jesuitas, que establecieron entre los ríos de Sinaloa y el desierto de Sonora sus primeros asentamientos. Desde estas últimas, el padre Eugenio Kino S. J. dio el salto hacia la península de California a finales del siglo XVII, fundando allí el presidio de San Bruno y luego la misión de Loreto, desde donde partiría el rosario de misiones, entre el mar y la sierra de la Giganta, ruta que se prolongaría como un vector de sur a norte en la actual California.

Los padres franciscanos también proyectaron sus misiones hacia el norte y abrieron allí nuevos caminos. Las misiones franciscanas de Texas en los inicios del siglo XVII son un ejemplo como Asinais, Natoches, Ais, Neches y Tejas, y las de la sierra Tarahumara, son ejemplo de su tenacidad para congregar a las tribus, y conectarlas en ese territorio áspero y difícil que a vista de pájaro nos parece como arrugado por la mano de un gigante. Esta zona del actual estado mejicano de Chihuahua fue compartida con los jesuitas, y entre ambos construyeron más de doscientas misiones que formaron una fina red de caminos pedestres, que finalmente desembocarían en las rutas de los presidios del siglo XVIII.

Hay todavía dos rutas más que completarían el mapa de los caminos; la que desde el siglo XVI conectaba desde Querétaro, hacia San Luis Potosí y desde donde se podía ir a Zacatecas o hacia el norte pasando por Saltillo a Monterrey, el presidio de Cerralvo y las misiones de Nuevo León, hacia el paso de Francia, en el río Grande. Pero también yendo hacia el este se enlazaba con las villas de Nuevo Santander, fundadas por el coronel Escandón a mediados del siglo XVIII. Con el descubrimiento de las minas de Zacatecas en 1548, por Cristóbal de Oñate, se da un salto a través de las líneas chichimecas, ya que la ruta estaba bien definida hasta Querétaro, y se establece lo que llamamos el “camino de la plata”20, pasando por Puerto Nieto, San
Miguel, San Felipe, Portezuelo, Ojuelos, Aguascalientes, Bocas, Cuicillo y Ciénega Grande, con breves ramales en dirección hacia las haciendas productoras de recursos de subsistencias defendidas por presidios como Cieneguilla, Colotlan, Malpaso y otros más en otras regiones

20 Que nos recuerda a la española vía de la plata que recorre la península de sur a norte atravesando Extremadura.


Estos presidios fueron construidos con gran rapidez, con los materiales que más a mano se tenían y sin un plan racional en su diseño concebido previamente, por capitanes de frontera que los ejecutaron a su buen entender, ayudados por soldados de sueldo escaso y malamente armados y pertrechados, mantenidos por los usuarios del camino como mineros, ganaderos, mercaderes o agricultores. En un principio se edificaron como seguridad inmediata para defender la vida de los más cercanos y funcionar como un refugio temporal al que acudir en caso de ataque, como sucedió en España durante los 800 años de Reconquista. Lo normal era que según avanzaba la frontera o se desmontaba el presidio por estar en zona pacificada, o se abandonaba convirtiéndose en el inicio de un asentamiento civil algo similar a lo ocurrido en la Reconquista española.

Durante el siglo XVI y principios del XVII, los presidios se construyeron siguiendo las líneas de itinerarios, formando una cadena, en la que cada eslabón era un punto fuerte para sí mismo y los que le rodeaban sin ligazón con el resto, sin una estrategia común.

Un presidio era seguido de otro, normalmente quedando a una jornada de marcha de separación para permitir la seguridad y alojamiento de los viajeros y evitar la sorpresa de los ataques de los guerreros nómadas21 como los realizados por ataques chichimecas que no sólo se dedicaban a robar cabezas de ganado, ropa y mercancías, sino que también tomaban prisioneros y masacraban salvajemente a los pobladores y viajeros de esos caminos: “arrancaban varias partes del cuerpo, costillas y huesos de los brazos y piernas, uno por uno, hasta que el cautivo moría”22.


21 Con esa exactitud y con ese objetivo fue dibujada la red de misiones en la Alta California. 
22 POWELL, W. Philip: UTRILLA, Juan José:
La guerra chichimeca, (1550-1600), Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, 1977. (Cita a Gonzalo de las Casas, en: “Noticias de la chichimeca y justicia de la guerra que se les ha hecho por los españoles”).

Por mucho esfuerzo que se hizo, por todos los medios, para terminar con el acoso chichimeca, la guerra duró más de lo que nadie se esperó. Los medios utilizados para acabar con la agresión de los nómadas daban escasos resultados. Todos los interesados en lograr la paz lo reconocieron. La guerra, la venganza, la esclavitud no daban sino alivio momentáneo. No faltó quien criticara los medios usados, sobre todo el de la esclavitud, y llevara su queja ante el rey para detener las mil injusticias que, con pretexto de la fe, se ejercían sobre los indígenas. Destacan las expresadas por Gonzalo de las Casas,quien escribió un informe titulado Noticia de los chichimecas y justicia de la guerra que se les ha hecho por los españoles, que se sumó a las cartas que envió al rey como informes de sus servicios como general de la frontera. El virrey Martín Enríquez de Almansa también mostró preocupación por la legalidad de esta guerra y por la cuestión de la esclavitud (Almansa fue el cuarto virrey de Nueva España, nombrado por Felipe II, ejerciendo su cargo entre el 5 de noviembre de1568 y el 4 de octubre de1580, también sería 6º virrey del Perú). También los misioneros franciscanos y de otras órdenes, dadas las características de esta guerra, cuestionaron su validez y sus métodos.


La denominada estrategia lineal 1550-168523. Con los cruces de caminos se convierte en una auténtica red de seguridad.


Los presidios localizados a lo largo de la línea itinerario tenían como táctica inmediata la de “abrir campo”, mediante su presencia
presionando a las tribus hacia el norte y liberando amplios espacios para el cultivo y crianza del ganado. Otros presidios tuvieron desde sus inicios la misión de proteger los asentamientos fundados por las órdenes religiosas, mientras otros defendían los reales mineros, y otros cubrían el itinerario del camino hacia Zacatecas, funcionando tanto como almacén y alojamiento de personas y de ganado.

Poco a poco se fue creando consenso sobre la necesidad de utilizar otras formas para terminar con la rebeldía chichimeca. A pesar de todo los ataques se sucedían, como en las minas de Comanja donde mataron a todos los residentes, incluido un monje; en el Paso de Ojuelos un grupo chichimeca cayó sobre una caravana de 60 carretas y se llevó mercancía valorada en 30.000 pesos. En el Paso de Bocas una pequeña fuerza chichimeca mató a los 50 soldados que defendían este punto. Los hacendados diseminados por tierra chichimeca, hartos de sufrir los embates de los antiguos dueños, escribieron una carta al rey en estos términos: la insolencia y atrevimiento de los indios ha crecido tanto que no solamente han continuado los daños, pero se han hecho tan fuertes y mañosos que han dejado sus tierras y las sierras y quebradas que tenían por su defensa y se han bajado a lo llano, y de pocos días a esta parte han dado muchos asaltos a los pueblos de paz y muerto mucha gente, ansí en ellos como en los caminos y estancias, ejecutando en ellas sus acostumbradas crueldades, desollándoles las cabezas y sacándoles vivos los corazones y entrañas y quemado y profanado iglesias, y aun les está aprobado comer carne humana de las personas que matan...
23 ARNAL, Luis:
El sistema presidial en el septentrión novohispano, evolución y estrategias de poblamiento. Scripta Nova, Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Barcelona. Vol. X, núm. 218 (26), 1 de agosto de 2006


Esta impresionante cadena partía de Ciudad de México, llegando hasta más allá de Zacatecas, localizándose en los centros mineros de Fresnillo, Sombrerete, San Martín, Chalchihuites, San Andrés, Cuencame, Aviño y Mazapil; por el oeste, los presidios de San Hipólito de Topia y Santa Catalina de Tepehuanes defendían las misiones y minas de Santiago Papasquiaro. La ubicación de estos presidios iniciales fue en forma de puestos aislados, en los lugares que convenía para la protección de misioneros y colonos.

El camino, aunque seguía hasta Nuevo México, realmente era muy inseguro en el tramo entre Parral y el río Grande, por lo que las
caravanas hacia Santa Fe tenían que ser custodiadas por escoltas y hacer escalas en los pueblos de indios pacificados o en haciendas, “las partes y lugares donde estos salteadores hacen daños son en los últimos pueblos de la Nueva España y en haciendas, estancias de ganado y labores que confinan con sus términos y tierras y asimismo las minas y caminos que van hacia ellos porque son las últimas partes que hay”24. De esta manera, la larga cadena defensiva se fue consolidando, partiendo en dos la zona de guerra, permitiendo el asentamiento de nuevos poblados y la producción de las minas, haciendo seguro el camino hacia el norte y las rutas secundarias, pero siempre como elementos puntuales en el territorio.

A partir del final de este período debemos de hablar del concepto de defensa centralizada. La agresividad de las tribus nómadas y las alianzas entre ellas, provocaron a principios del siglo XVII una mayor actividad en los territorios al norte de Durango, en zonas que comenzaban a ser visitadas por misioneros, mineros y en donde también se habían efectuado grandes concesiones de tierra para la formación de haciendas. A pesar de ello y de la escasa densidad de población española sumando a ello la lejanía de estos pequeños polos de asentamientos obligaron a un cambio de estrategia en el sistema defensivo presidial.

24 AGI, México 69. Orozco al Rey, Nov. 25, 1576. Sucesivamente se hicieron cargo de la guerra en la Nueva España Francisco de Sande (1569-70), Francisco de Puga, hacendado de Celaya (1576), Hernando de Robles (1577) y el Nueva Galicia Juanbautista de Orozco, oidor de Guadalajara y antes oidor de corte en la audiencia de México (1569-1574). Otro oidor del mismo nombre Jerónimo de Orozco, presidente d ela audiencia, le sucedió en el cargo de administrador de la guerra en la frontera de Nueva Galicia, a partir del 15 de diciembre de 1574.Comenzando una nueva política con los chichimecas basada en la negociación y un trato diferente que condujo a la pacificación. Orozco tuvo como teniente de Zacatecas a un hombre clave en su estrategia, el capitán Rodrigo del Río Loza. La frontera se reforzó con las fundaciones de León (1576) y Aguascalientes (1580).


La rebelión de los acaxees, xiximes, tepehuanes, salineros y conchos entre 1610 y 1645, y la gran alianza entre los tarahumaras de 1649 a 1653, conocida como la “Sublevación de indios bárbaros en los contornos de Nueva Vizcaya”25, así como las rebeliones en Texas y Coahuila, forzaron una modificación en la composición de las tropas y en la distribución y diseño de los presidios. Se fue pasando de un pequeño fuerte con muros de tapial, adobe o palizada, suficiente únicamente para albergar unas cuantos elementos de tropa y su ganado en el interior, a una pequeña concentración de viviendas con las residencias del capitán y sus soldados, más los almacenes y la capilla, formando todos esos elementos un cuadro con una plaza de armas central, a cuyo alrededor comenzaron paulatinamente a asentarse comerciantes, artesanos y algunos agricultores, con sus huertos y corrales, formando una incipiente semilla poblacional dentro del binomio presidio-villa.

Por otra parte, la frontera se iba ensanchando según se avanzaba hacia el norte y las distancias eran cada vez mayores entre presidios, debido a la poca población y por tanto a las tierras vacías sin aprovechamiento, por lo que se fue imponiendo el concepto de autosuficiencia pues no se podía depender de la ayuda del presidio próximo. Dado que el avance de los misioneros se iba localizando en parajes cada vez más alejados y peligrosos hubieron de ubicarse nuevos presidios en zonas cada vez más alejadas de la frontera. En Nuevo León, los presidios de Cerralvo (1626) y Cadereita26 (1637) fueron villas, y tuvieron conventos fundados en 1630 y 1640 respectivamente, protegiendo las misiones franciscanas que se ubicaron unos años más tarde en sus alrededores como Santa María del Río Blanco (1648), San Cristóbal de los Gualagüises (1664), San Antonio de los Llanos (1666), Santa Teresa del Álamo (1659), San Nicolás de Gualeguas (1672), Nuestra Señora de Dolores de la Punta de Lampazos (1698), Guajuco (1736), Labradores (1678) y Boca de Leones (1687). En varios casos las misiones crecieron en pobladores, de tal manera que pudieron ser autosuficientes en su defensa, como en Linares donde hubo convento (1715). En el valle del Pilón se fundaron las misiones de Santillana, Purificación y Concepción, que también tenían gran número de indios. En otros casos desaparecían las misiones por falta de clientela, pero también sucedió lo mismo con los presidios cuando no tenían qué defender o cuando su posición dejaba
de ser importante en la defensa de un territorio.

25 AGI, Guadalajara 141. Carta al Rey, Dic. 22, 1685
26 En honor del virrey Don Lope Díez de Aux de Armendáriz, Marqués de Cadereyta, en Navarra.
El factor que detonó la formación de presidios “centralizados” en Nueva Vizcaya fue la catástrofe de Nuevo México de 1680, con la caída de Santa Fé y el repliegue español hasta el río Grande donde permanecieron los pobladores hasta la reconquista de Don Diego de Vargas. La revuelta se extendió desde la región de los moqui y pueblo, a otras naciones como los conchos, tobosos, julimeños y un centenar de tribus más27, lo cual obligó a mover a todos los pobladores y misiones, desde Santa Fe y las riveras del alto río Grande, hacia el sur, llegando los ataques hasta Casas Grandes, Julimes y Conchos.

Desde la capital de España, Madrid, se valoró la situación y se tomaron  sesudas decisiones de vital importancia y consecuencias que modificaron la estrategia geográfica y la manera de entender el despliegue, la estructura y función de los presidios, es decir
considerados como un todo. Como consecuencia de ello se eliminaron algunos presidios como los de San Hipólito de Topia, Santa Catalina de Tepehuanes, ya que los acaxees y tepehuanes habían mantenido la paz durante más de setenta años, y San Sebastián, Chiametla, aunque este último se conservó durante algo más de tiempo.

Durante el reinado de Carlos II no todo fue decadencia, hubo grandes consejeros y acertadas decisiones, así en 1685 de orden del monarca se crearon cuatro presidios que podemos considerar fundamentales para la defensa de Nueva Vizcaya: Pasaje de Cuencame, San Pedro del Gallo, Cerro Gordo, y Conchos, en una línea casi vertical de sur a norte, entre Fresnillo y Chihuahua, conservando la distancia de veinticinco leguas entre uno y otro, considerando que Parral se hallaba a la mitad entre Conchos y Cerro Gordo, de tal forma que cortaban cualquier intento de ataque sobre las sierras y la zona minera de los alrededores de Durango. Más adelante en 1711, se fundaría el presidio de Mapimi, que penetraba más hacia el Bolsón, del mismo nombre, a base de restar
personal de los cuatro presidios anteriores.

27 En 1683 se sublevaron ochenta y cinco naciones del río Nazas y la Laguna.

En el norte y a espaldas de la sierra Tarahumara, se erigió el presidio de San Felipe y Santiago de Janos en 1686, que se sostuvo durante todos los cambios de estrategias, ya que cortaba el paso de los pimas a través de la sierra, hacia el presidio de Fronteras, 1720, y Sonora. Los presidios de Casas Grandes y el Paso del Norte se establecieron en 1687 y 1682, para protección de los colonos que retrocedían con lo puesto hacia el sur abandonado la tierra de Nuevo México y las misiones que se reubicaron en las márgenes del río Grande.

En Coahuila se fundó el presidio de Santiago de la Monclova en 1689, con el propósito de mantener un punto de refuerzo en el camino hacia Texas, amenazada por los franceses de La Salle, quienes habían construido el presidio de San Luis en la bahía de Matagorda, y en 1701 se levantó el presidio de San Juan Bautista del Río Grande, Paso de Francia, como protección de las misiones cercanas, que sería el primer escalón hacia las fundaciones del río San Antonio.

* Coronel en situación de Reserva

Sent by Juan Marinez


The Spanish Army in North America 1700-1793 (Men-at-Arms) 

by Rene Chartrand (Author), David Rickman (Illustrator)
4 customer reviews

Paperback – November 22, 2011

The Spanish Army in North America 1700-1793 Men-at-Arms title detailing a major chapter in American military history. North American colonial history can broadly be divided into 'New France', 'New England' and 'New Spain. The latter covered a vast expanse of land from California to the whole of the south-west and south including modern-day Florida, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Illinois. Spanish America played a significant role in British and American campaigns in particular the American Revolution. Spanish units fought against the British throughout the Revolution providing a major distraction to the British forces and helping in some way to ensure the eventual success of the colonials.

René Chartrand is an international authority on the subject, he has amassed an array of original archival documents and illustrations to provide a fresh perspective on the key units and actions throughout the continent. In particular, he has provided a detailed listing of exactly where Spanish units were raised and based including major forts and places of interest to visit. Interest in Spanish American history is on the increase and this is a timely discussion of an aspect of American military history which is too often overlooked.




Art, History & Culture: 
Walking the streets of Spain while sketching and listening for voices from the past Eddie Martinez
Editor Mimi:  This is the beginning of a series based on the travels of artist Eddie Martinez.  Eddie's goal is to eventually produce a PBS documentary to share the complex history of Spain, Mexico and the interaction between those countries and the indigenous.  Eddie seeks to present the facts with respect to all people whose heritage is being told, to embrace the beauty of all whose history laid the foundation for the United States of America.  





Hector Perez Garcia, M.D., Historical Marker has been installed at its original site
Youtube: Looking back: In the Land that Made Me . . Me
Christmas in Goliad, Tejano Author's photo: December 6, 2014
Latino History: An Interchange on Present Realities and Future Prospects
Creating the Past and Its Futures: Historians at Work, Call for Papers  Deadline January 15, 2015  
Kate Smith and the Story Few Know 

Today learn more about our Presidents  


Nueces County , Texas

901 Leopard St .

Corpus Christi , Texas 78401


Mike Pusley
Commissioner, Precinct No. 1


Tyner Little, Governmental Affairs, OCCA

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       December 8, 2014   1:20 p.m.

 Commissioner Mike Pusley announced this morning that a replacement “Hector Perez Garcia, M.D.” Historical Marker has been installed at its original site at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital , 2606 Hospital Boulevard , Corpus Christi , Texas .

Shortly after the marker’s original installation in April this year, some historical discrepancies were noted in the language of the marker.  In the preceding months, Commissioner Pusley worked with the family members and other local historians to come to a consensus on the proper historical references in the marker.  

Commissioner Pusley stated, “I am satisfied that we have restored accuracy in this historically significant marker for not only our generation, but for countless generations to come.”  


Looking back:   In the Land that Made Me . .  Me 

Christmas in Goliad 
December 6, 2014: Tejano Author's photo

Seated left-right: Celia Hayes,*Dr. Carolina Castillo Crimm, Donna Rogers, Emily Buckert; Standing left- right: left-right: *Jose Antonio Lopez, *Dr. Felix D.Almaraz,, Jr., *Dr. Jesus F. De La Teja, Henry Wolff, Linda Wolff, *Dr. Joseph E. Chance, Louise O'Connor, and Sonny Long.  Not available for picture: *Dr. Emilio Zamora

*Early Texas Historians 

Thanks to our friends in Goliad for an absolutely great visit yesterday, helping them celebrate their Christmas in Goliad event.  Gracias especially to our hosts, William & Estella Zermeño, who both tirelessly spread the word on our rich, pre-1836 Texas history.  What can I say, but that I was honored to stand for an authors’ picture (above) that includes Drs. Caroline Crimm, Felix Almaraz, Frank de la Teja, and Joe Chance; all champions of early Texas (Tejana/Tejano) history.  Yes, I am truly humbled & blessed.

Saludos, José Antonio “Joe” López  


                Latino History: An Interchange on Present Realities and Future Prospects

In her 2006 Organization of American Historians (oah) presidential address, Vicki Ruiz invoked José Martí’s landmark 1891 essay “Nuestra América” in calling for a more comprehensive, transhemispheric vision of the U.S. past, one that understands “Latino history as United States history.” For more than four decades, scholars have written about U.S. Latina and Latino experiences, often under the rubric of Mexican American or Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, or immigration history. Recent scholarship, especially, has embraced such a transhemispheric vision.

Inspired in large part by Ruiz’s address, this interchange engages ten scholars in a conversation about ways they conceptualize, research, and teach Latino history within national and transnational narratives. We are honored to have such a distinguished group of scholars whose work in and out of the classroom reflects the dynamism and meaning of Latino history as U.S. history.

The JAH is indebted to all of the participants for their willingness to enter into the online conversation:
Please go to: › Issues › Vol. 97 › No. 2 (Sept. 2010)

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 


 Deadline for Submissions: January 15, 2015

 Creating the Past and Its Futures: Historians at Work

2015 Annual Meeting
Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association

Sacramento, California, August 6-8, 2015


Research, teaching, writing, and public outreach are interconnected components of the historical enterprise. If the past does not change, the way we share it does. As novel strategies for locating, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting the past allow us to imagine anew its future, this dynamism continues. Innovative approaches to identity, society, economy, science, and the state have invigorated scholarly and public engagement in historical questions; while new media and the digital humanities have created new venues for historians to share their stories. Meanwhile, as more diverse individuals and groups enter the profession, we are invited to reconsider not just what we think but also how we convey ideas to others who may not share our basic assumptions. As scholars and educators, we gather to exchange work and explore how to engage specialists, generalists, students and the public.  

The program committee solicits panel proposals and individual submissions encompassing new research, pedagogy, research methods, public history, and civic engagement. We invite proposals from all walks and developmental stages of the historical profession and related disciplinary and disciplinary fields. We encourage those proposing panels to remember that conversations are more interesting when they include people who represent diverse racial, ethnic, and gender identities, sexual orientations, and dis/abilities.  

While we welcome traditional sessions of research papers amplified by learned commentary, we also encourage individuals and groups to consider other presentation formats, which can be found by following the link below. We hope that by expanding to new session types and being mindful that academics, like our students, acquire information in different ways, we can enrich conversation among all members of the historical profession.  

Please visit for a complete list of session types and submission. Questions may be directed to the Program Co-Chairs:  

David Torres-Rouff
University of California, Merced

John Williams
Colorado College


Kate Smith and the Story Few Know 

A Little Patriotic History, Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a 
million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped 
away a tear or two. 

Here are the facts... The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of "GOD BLESS AMERICA ".  Before you watch it, the story behind the song: The time was 1940. America was in a terrible economic depression. 
Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war.  It was a time of hardship and worry for Americans. This was just before TV, radio shows were HUGE, and families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer was bigger than Kate Smith. Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings ". 

Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her 
time. Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. 

She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before back in 1917. 

He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received, but both agreed they would not take profits. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. 

Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song. This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. 

After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, 
" You're In The Army Now ." At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a 
paper; it's Ronald Reagan . To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. 

Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt she realized how 
successful the results would be for Americans during those years of hardship and worry.... and for many generations to follow. 
Now that you know the story, I hope you'll enjoy it and treasure it even more. 

Many people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts with "God Bless America ...... "So here's the entire song as originally sung. And still no one else has ever come close to doing it as well as Kate Smith did.

Click here: Kate Smith introduces God Bless America

Sent by Jose M. Pena


Today learn more about our Presidents . . .

 George Washington, 1st president when elected (1789-1797), had only one tooth and wore dentures made from hippopotamus and elephant ivory, not wood as commonly thought. 

John Adams, 2nd president (1797-1801), after a long feud with Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president (1801-1809) finally called a truce and developed a friendship that lasted the rest of their lives. Both men died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. 

William Henry Harrison, 9th (1841), was the first president to die in office. During his lengthy inaugural speech, which was more than two hours long, he contracted a cold that quickly developed into pneumonia. 

John Tyler, 10th president (1841-1845), two decades after leaving the White House, joined the Confederacy and became the only president named sworn enemy of the United States. 

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president (1861-1865), was the only president to receive a patent; it was for a device designed to lift boats over shoals. 

Andrew Johnson, 17th president (1865-1869), never received any formal schooling; he credited his wife with teaching him to read and write. 

Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president (1869-1877), was cast in the role of Desdemona in an all-soldier production of Othello during the Mexican-American War. 

Chester A. Arthur, 21st president (1881-1885), after his election, sold more than two dozen wagons full of White House furniture. Arthur commissioned Louis Comfort Tiffany as designer for his White House makeover. 

Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president (1885-1889) and (1893-1897), in his early career, served as New York sheriff and carried out at least two hangings, refusing to delegate the unpleasant task to others. After being diagnosed with mouth cancer in 1893, he had a secret operation on a yacht to remove part of his upper jaw. 

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president (1889-1893), was the first president to use electricity in the White House. After getting an electrical shock, he refused to touch light switches. 

William H. Taft, 27th president (1909-1913), was the first president o own a car while in office. In 1930, his funeral was also the first presidential funeral to be broadcast on the radio. 

Woodrow Wilson, 28th president (1913-1921), played golf as a source of exercise, even in winter. He had his golg balls painted red so he could see them in the snow. 

Warren G. Harding, 29th president (1921-1923), suffered his first nervous breakdown at age 2 and spent time in a sanitarium run by J. H. Kellogg of breakfast cereal fame. 

Herbert Hoover, 31st president (1929-1933), never held an elected office before becoming president. He was the first self-made millionaire to reside in the White House and his fortune in the mining industry. 

Harry Truman, 33rd president (1945-1953), suffered from bad eyesight, which kept him from attending West Point. When World War I  broke out, he passed his vision test by memorizing the eye chart beforehand. 

John F. Kennedy, 35th, president (1961-1963), the first Catholic president, was also the first president to have been a Boy Scout. 

Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th president (1963-1969), and his wife Lady Bird, were married with a $2.50 wedding ring bought at Sears the day after he proposed to her. 

Richard Nixon, 37th president (1969-1974), wanted to be an FBI agent. He applied to the Bureau but wasn’t accepted. 

Gerald R. Ford, 38th president (1974-1977), played football for University of Michigan from 1931 to 1934, and was offered tryouts by both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. 

Ronald Reagan, 40th president (1981-1989), actor became increasingly interested in politics while serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild. He was elected governor of California in 1966 and soon viewed as a contender for the presidency. 

George H. W. Bush, 43rd president (1989-1993), at the age of 19, Bush became the youngest pilot in U.S. Navy history. He went on to fly 58 combat missions during World War II and was shot down in 1944 (he was rescued after four hours on a life raft). 

Barrack Obama, 44th president (2009– ), cut his political teeth as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side. In 2008, the former senator defeated John McCain to become the first African American president of the United States.


Sent by Poppo Olag


Herman Badillo, U.S. Congressman  August 21, 1929 - December 3, 2014  Dies at 85
Juan Flores, Professor/Author 
September 29, 1943 – December 2, 2014  Dies at 71
State Rep. Phillip Archuleta Dies at 65
Paige Martinez, Arizona Film Documentarian Dead at 52 
Honorable Peter Chacon, Passed away December 14, 2014,  tribute planned for February Somos Primos issue 

Herman Badillo, first Puerto Rico-born 

U.S. congressman, dies at 85

By Celeste Katz, with Jennifer Fermino

New York Daily News (Dec 3, 2014)



Herman Badillo, the nation's first Puerto Rico-born congressman and a four-time candidate for mayor, has died. He was 85.  

The pioneering Badillo, who represented the South Bronx in the House from 1971 to 1977, also served as Bronx borough president and ran for mayor as both a Democrat and later as a Republican.


Badillo died at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell of complications of congestive heart failure, according to a spokesman, George Arzt.


"As the first Puerto Rican to be elected as Bronx Borough President, as U.S. Representative and to be a mayoral candidate in our city, Herman Badillo was one of my inspirations as a young man of Puerto Rican descent who was born and raised in the Bronx and pursuing a career in politics," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a Wednesday statement announcing Badillo's passing.


"He was a true Bronxite and the epitome of a passionate leader who truly cared for his community," Diaz said.

"Herman Badillo worked assiduously throughout his career to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals across our borough and city."


Herman Badillo was born August 21, 1929 in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Orphaned by a tuberculosis epidemic, he moved to the United States as a boy with his aunt.


Badillo attended public schools, earned degrees from City College and Brooklyn Law School and also became a certified public accountant. He worked consistently during his schooling -- setting up pins at a bowling alley and stocking food at an automat.


After his initial foray into politics via his work with local political clubs, Badillo went to work for then-Mayor Robert Wagner, serving as Commissioner of the Department of Relocation until his election as Bronx borough president in 1965.


Badillo made his first run for the Democratic nomination for mayor in 1969, and tried again in 1973.


Per the Library of Congress, "During his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives he gained a seat on the Committee on Education and Labor, where he worked on legislation on behalf of his district, where at the time forty-eight percent of the people spoke English as a second language. Through his efforts, job training for unemployed non-English-speaking citizens was included in the Comprehensive Manpower Act of 1973."


Improving education -- particularly for minorities -- remained a lifelong passion of Badillo's.


"I got the highest marks at Haaren [High School]. I graduated magna cum laude from City College, and in law school, I was first in my class," he recalled in a 2001 Daily News profile.


"And what still gets me mad is that were it left to the Board of Education, I would have ended up in a job nobody holds anymore, shunted off as so many Puerto Rican kids were then, and now."


Badillo left Congress to serve as deputy to then-Mayor Ed Koch, handling labor relations, but the two eventually had a falling out that led Badillo to leave City Hall to practice law -- and later to support Koch's rival, Mario Cuomo, in the 1982 gubernatorial primary.


The victorious Cuomo appointed Badillo head of the state Mortgage Agency.


In 1986, Badillo won the Democratic nomination for state controller, falling to the GOP's Edward Regan.


Then in 1993, Badillo ran for city controller on a fusion ticket topped by Republican mayoral candidate Rudy Giuliani. Badillo lost to Alan Hevesi in the Democratic primary but remained a candidate on the GOP and Liberal Party tickets.


Badillo went on to work for the Giuliani Administration and became chairman of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York.


In 1998, as the Daily News reported at the time, Badillo switched to the Republican Party, "pledging to crisscross the country in a marathon effort to lure armies of Hispanics into the GOP's big tent. Minutes after bolting the Democratic Party, Badillo also opened the door to a possible race for mayor in 2001 despite his five flopped attempts to capture City Hall over two decades."


The Republicans welcomed Badillo -- who named Thomas Jefferson as his political idol -- enthusiastically: "Herman Badillo is truly a crown jewel among the 370 elected and formerly elected Democrat office-holders who've joined us," said GOP National Chairman Jim Nicholson.


He threw his hat in the ring for the mayoralty once again, losing to the ultimate victor, Michael Bloomberg, who had also ditched the Democratic Party for the GOP.


In 2011, Badillo returned to the Democratic Party, saying he did so to further his goal of improving education opportunities for minority students.


"As many know, a burning passion of mine and something I have been trying to accomplish for many years, in different capacities, has been to improve the educational system in New York City. More particularly to seek ways to close the educational gap between Hispanics and Blacks and other ethnic groups," he wrote at the time.


"This is the particular area that I want to address in the future and I believe that my involvement can best be accomplished by returning to the Democratic Party."


In keeping with his return to the fold, Badillo endorsed former city Controller Bill Thompson for mayor in 2013 after having supported Bloomberg four years earlier.


In the last decade, Badillo worked in the city office of two law firms, Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo and Parker Waichman Alonso, and also served as a fellow of the Manhattan Institute.


The trailbreaking Badillo published his first book, "One Nation, One Standard: An Ex-Liberal on How Hispanics Can Succeed Just Like Other Immigrant Groups," in 2006.


Said Gov. Cuomo in a condolence statement, "Today, New York lost one of its most cherished and revered citizens. Herman Badillo was a longtime public servant who dedicated himself to improving the lives of others. From his tenure as Bronx Borough President to his work leading the CUNY Board of Trustees, Herman was a shining example of how a dedication to civil service can make a difference in the world around us. As the Bronx's first Puerto Rican Borough President, Herman also embodied the spirit of diversity that defines New York today, and his legacy will live on for years to come.


"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my condolences to his friends and family. He will be greatly missed."


Badillo, who lived on the upper East Side of Manhattan and in East Hampton, L.I., is survived by his wife, Gail, and son, David.


Private services will be held Sunday at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, with eulogies delivered by Giuliani and former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.


Update: Said Giuliani of Badillo in a statement, "He was a champion for civil rights, housing, jobs and safety, but for me his key contributions were in education. He was the first to point out the dangers of social promotion. He also pointed out that bi-lingual education, originally intended as a temporary criteria to learn English, had become, in many cases, permanent and therefore harmful to the development of young people. He wrote a report on the failures of the City University system that led to major reform - much of which he presided over as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York.


"He was also a good friend whose counsel on all matters was always of great value. Judith and I will miss him greatly. "Our good friend Gail gave him much love and attention to the very end and we are sure his last years and days were happy ones. "Herman Badillo is in the pantheon of truly great New Yorkers."

Sent by Dorinda Moreno

LULAC Salutes Puerto Rican Trailblazer Herman Badillo
Groundbreaking Latino leader was the first Puerto Rican Member of Congress and the first Latino Bronx Borough President
New York City—Funeral services for the first voting Puerto Rican member of Congress, Herman Badillo were held yesterday in New York City. His remarkable rise from an impoverished orphan in Caguas, P.R. to Bronx Borough President, four-term Congressman, city commissioner, Deputy Mayor and finally a trustee and board chairman of the City University of New York made Herman Badillo a trailblazing hero to Latinos across the country. 

Known as a champion for education, civil rights, housing, and jobs, Badillo is credited with establishing the first bilingual education program and the first bilingual job training program in the nation as well as for reforming the City University of New York after many years of decline. 

A brilliant mind, Badillo taught himself English and went on to graduate with high honors from City College in 1951 and from Brooklyn Law School as valedictorian in 1954 all while working as a dishwasher, bowling pinsetter, and accountant. 

He was widely cited as the highest ranking Puerto Rican politician in the nation during his political career and he inspired a generation of Latino leaders to political activism and public service. 

"It was an honor to have known Congressman Herman Badillo,” stated Ralina Cardona, LULAC National Vice President of the Northeast. “His leadership and dedication to the Latino community is unsurpassed. Today we mourn his passing and celebrate his legacy of exceptional service…he made all of us very proud.” 

The League of United Latin American Citizens is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit

Juan Flores speaking at Afro Latino Forum Conference 2014 by Ed Morales

Juan Flores speaking at Afro Latino Forum Conference 2014 
by Ed Morales

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One of my favorite essays of Juan Flores’s was “La Carreta Made a U-Turn,” which was his postmodern redux of René Marques’s seminal play “La Carreta,” the one that made the case for returning to Puerto Rico from New York as the only sane and moral thing for a Puerto Rican migrant to do. It was from a book called Divided Borders, a collection of essays that in some ways helped form the basis for my own investigation of bilingual bicultural identity.

The key revelation of Juan’s essay was that yes, it was true that Puerto Ricans were being “Americanized,” but the way that it was happening had nothing to do with what people thought of as assimilation. He championed the way the popular classes of Puerto Rican migrants had created a bilingual identity that was at once a survival mechanism and an assertion of difference that would never fade. “Puerto Rican bilingualism,” wrote Flores, “seems to resist both political forces and scientific readings that indicate assimilation.”
Juan had drawn a conclusion that seemed obvious, but few of us knew how to express: That by insisting on being self-aware Puerto Ricans living in New York, we were simply manifesting a personality that was actively adapting to life in the big city. “Might the persistent affirmation of a discrete national culture, and particularly its tradition of anti-colonial resistance,” he asked, “be somehow consonant with ever more deep immersion in the cultural life of the US?”

Of course. That’s what had been happening from the beginning, going back to el tabaquero Bernardo Vega, whose diaries Juan translated, and continuing with José Luis González, another of Flores’s muses, who understood that Puerto Ricans’ superstructure rested on the base of African-descended philosopher-jíbaros, and that when we danced on the rooftops during blackouts and saw the stars for the first time in the darkness, we understood that our spirit had traveled to a new home.

Divided Borders also included one of his most unforgettable essays, “Qué Assimilated Brother, Yo Soy Asimilao?” which pretty much defined the very ground we’re standing on today. This time Juan meditates on Nuyorican identity by doing a quick comparison with Chicanos, coming to the conclusion that we are not engaged in a melting pot project, but one of association with other minorities who have had a similar experience. Our central project was not “fitting in” but defining ourselves against the majority, writing the narrative arc of our difference.

In this essay he offered a structural paradigm of four moments that defined the awakening of our consciousness. These discrete historical moments described our soul-settling in Manhattan, the Bronx, and to a lesser extent Brooklyn as an appropriation of self drawn from our memory of the island, which shifted first to nostalgia, then an ability to see our remembered place in the place of these city streets—something the poet Victor Hernández Cruz called Tropicalization—and finally, grow into awareness alongside other participants in the struggle for Civil Rights.

Anchoring all of this was the poetry of Tato Laviera, whom Juan was almost singlehandedly responsible for elevating to prophet status, especially in his ability to locate that consciousness in an African-descended language that became simultaneously more vulgar and eloquent in English so as to expose the petty colonial nationalism of the Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican elite. “Assimilated?” asked Laviera’s narrator, “Qué assimilated, brother, yo soy asimilao/Delen gracias a los prietos/que cambiaron asimilado al popular asimilao.”

Translating is a dangerous act of resistance, and Juan knew that danger all too well, but never stopped striving to avoid losing anything in that translation. Because he knew it was power, and he knew it carried the hopes not only for all black people but for all marginalized people. Still, blackness was his undying love, and his strongest work became the ethnographic unearthing of blackness in Latin music, from bomba to hiphop, from bugalú to maracatú.

But I didn’t really want to spend so much time talking about Juan’s work, I wanted to tell you what kind of person he was. He was the kind of guy who would invite you into his house, pour you a nice glass of vino tinto and talk about music and sports and how much he still loved to teach. So many professors you run into who can’t wait to go on sabbatical and Juan was all about the opportunity to help someone learn, and in the process, learn something himself.

He introduced me to Jean Franco, whom he said he went to basketball games with, and who told me she was friends with Eric Hobsbawm, and that really made my night, if you know what I mean. I had the feeling that sometimes Juan felt I’d gotten things wrong, but he was always quick to tell me what I got right. “I’m going to teach one of your chapters in your book about music,” he excitedly told me one day. In one of the more surprising and humbling moments of my life, he said he liked my idea that “Latin” music was defined by hybrid popular music that succeeded on an international level, meaning it crossed borders and new hybrids were created, and you could dance to it even faster and looser than before.

A lot of us were there at his 70th birthday party last year. Miguel, Vanessa, Jorge, and the whole Afro-Latino Forum crew. Gerald Early. And Juan looked great, like he was some kind of Rican Benjamin Button, aging in reverse. He seemed ecstatic and vital, and most of all, you could tell he really loved Miriam, and that she loved him.

I last saw Juan at the Afro Latino Forum Conference held in October, where I was on a panel about the media. He was very enthusiastic about the attendance, and I was marveling at the energy in the room, and the thinkers, and the activists and the people who understood that they were black no matter what people thought they looked like or sounded like or acted like. There was a feeling of unity.

I think in the end, that’s what Juan wanted. In his recent book The Diaspora Strikes Back he argued that in the last 50 years, after so much transnational bregando, we were actually in the process of evolving into one being by sharing our stories back and forth across el charco. We were becoming the New York Puerto Rican New Yorker born on the island and returning to the island. Without knowing it, we were becoming the offspring of a restless translator, a kid from Queens who loved to bugalú.

Ed Morales  | December 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Tags: Afro Latino Forum 

State Rep. Phillip Archuleta Dies at 65
By Steve Ramirez

LAS CRUCES—Phillip Archuleta, who had served in the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2012, died Tuesday afternoon from complications of pneumonia, according to the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County.

Archuleta, 65, had been in a Las Cruces hospital for about a week. He'd suffered from health problems over the past year, which included the amputation of his right leg.

"Las Cruces and New Mexico has lost a true champion," said Paul Martinez, a close friend of Archuleta. "It's a sad day. But he's in a better place now. The amputation took a lot out of him."

Archuleta, a Las Cruces Democrat, defeated Andy Nuñez and Mike Tellez in the 2012 general election to become the state representative for District 36, which includes much of northern Doña Ana County. 

"Phillip Archuleta was a leading champion for civil rights and equal treatment of all New Mexicans, for labor and working people, and for veterans," the Doña Ana Democrats said in a written statement. "As a legislator he fought for quality public education, equity in community services and infrastructure, and fair treatment for his community. He was an outspoken champion for the rights of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. 

Archuleta served on the House Health and Human Resources Interim Committee, the Land Grant Interim Committee, the Courts and Correction Interim Committee, the Water and Natural Resources Interim Committee, and the Subcommittee on Drought.

Archuleta was appointed in June 2013 to the National Conference of State Legislatures to lead its Labor and Economic Development Committee. Archuleta also served on the Water and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments West, an association of legislators from 13 western states.  However, Archuleta's poor health forced him to miss the entire 2014 New Mexico legislative session.

"He suffered a lot," said Hatch Mayor Andy Nuñez, who defeated Archuleta in November's general election to retake the District 36 representative's seat. "I respected Phillip's dedication to serving New Mexico. He worked hard for his constituents."

Archuleta's professional experience included working in labor law administration for the New Mexico Department of Labor from 1990 to 2012.  "He was one of the most effective staff members in recovering lost wages from unscrupulous employers," Martinez said.

Archuleta also was actively involved with the New Mexico chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens. He was a former deputy state director for LULAC and was a past president of Las Cruces' LULAC chapter.

"He will be remembered for his passion in reinvigorating the Navidad en el Barrio Para los Niños program for Council 120. Under his leadership this program flourished and it served economically disadvantaged children in Las Cruces and Anthony during the Christmas holidays," Martinez said.  

Martinez said he and Archuleta developed a strong bond.  "We were hermanos and he became one of my closest friends in Las Cruces," Martinez said. "Phillip was one of the very few dying breed of public servants that one considers being honest and fulfilling his word. He was a man with a big heart and he loved his state and people. If any person deserves heaven, he is one that God has a special place for."

Steve Ramirez can be reached at 575-541-5452

Paige Martinez, Arizona Film Documentarian Dead at 52 

I write this about my friend, Paige Martinez, the award-winning documentarian, Producer, writer, director & legendary Emmy nominated filmmaker from Tempe.  She
passed away November 24, 2014.
Perhaps you knew Paige; or saw her PBS documentaries about Mexican Americans for the American Experience series, or on the Hopi Indians on KAET/Channel 8; or went to the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) over on Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix last year to see her recent short documentary on the life & extraordinary music of Rafael Amado "Chapito" Chavarria, Tempe's renown Mexicano bandleader, musician, composer, & arranger, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday with Paige & their friends & family at the MIM. By 1923, & at the tender age of nine, "Chapito" began playing the guitar & violin over at La Casa Vieja in his father's Mexican orchestra, entertaining large crowds of the Valley's elite & patrons of the arts, & most likely university faculty & staff & students too. Chapito formed his own orchestra, & for many years, he entertained generations of Arizonans with his cumbias, mambos, rumbas, paso dobles, merengues, rancheras at the famous Calderon Ballroom or the Riverside Ballroom or the Cinderella Ballroom, or at the Plantation Ballroom in central Phoenix, places that are long gone now. 

Paige is gone, too. She died in Las Vegas, New Mexico on November 24th from health-related complications linked to Valley Fever. She was only 52 years of age. Paige was a graduate student completing her Masters Degree in the Department of Media Arts & Technology at the University of New Mexico, Highlands. She bears a historic & cultural link to Tempe & to Arizona State University, & to you--the collective "you". That link is La Casa Vieja, the 1871 adobe home of the Charles Trumbull Hayden family. The Haydens were strong promoters of education, & were influential in encouraging the Arizona Territorial Legislature to choose Tempe as the site of the Territorial Normal School in 1885, now known as Arizona State University-your university. The Chavarrias were good friends of the descendents the Tiburcio & Manuela Sánchez Sotelo & María Sotelo Miller families of Tempe, who, in 1885, helped their friends & neighbors raise $500 in exchange for land on which the Territorial School would be built. Years later, Chapito's brother, Pablo Chavarria, married Paige's great aunt. And Paige grew up learning more about the history of the Chavarria family & about their lives in early Tempe. At a young age, Paige became interested in oral history, anthropology, film making, & she liked reading the history of Mexicanos in the Southwest. She graduated from Tempe High School in 1980 & went off to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking in 1986.

Her first job was as a Production Assistant for the television series "Fame", & in 1987, her friends encouraged her to broaden her film making experience by working as an office assistant for the American Films Company in New York. The production company was ready to raise funds to produce Oliver Stone's new movie, "Wall Street", starring Michael Douglas. Since 1986-87, Paige honed her craft, became more involved in film production, with film companies, learned how to write stories for films, & learned about photography & camera work & went where the jobs took her over the years : to Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Austin, Mexico, London, Santa Fe, Phoenix. But Paige hit a crossroad that challenged her skills as a film maker even more: digital technology and film making were evolving, something she needed to learn more about. Her technology skills were weak, & Paige wanted to learn more about interactive video & new production processes.

In 2013, at the age of 51, she became a graduate student & pursued the Masters degree in Media Arts at the University of New Mexico, Highlands. She did well in graduate school, & was on track in completing her program, ready to graduate in the Spring of 2015. She was already working on new film projects & had completed a couple of projects for the Tempe Museum of History. And there's that word, "History" again. I associate it with Paige too. We worked on some research & writing projects over the years. When she came to Tempe to visit her family, we'd meet to talk about her work, her grants, about how difficult it was to raise funds to produce films, & about why all of this was so important to her. She wanted to tell stories on film of the struggles of working people, of the Mexicanos of Tempe & Phoenix. She wanted to add more content to her documentary on Chapito Chavarria. Paige had that drive to want to do more, to do it better than the last time, to create & tell a good story. In 2012, Paige donated her personal archives to the Department of Archives and Special Collections at the Hayden Library. Her audio tapes, video casettes, research notes, story line drafts, original documentaries she produced since 1986, photographs, films: they're all there. The Paige Martinez Collection contains rich materials for the film student, the journalism student, the Liberal Arts student, the student in us all. 

Paige's own story of struggle & courage & film making & living a full life is worth learning about. I tell you about Paige Martinez & her passing so that you can understand your own importance in whatever work you do, in whatever career you pursue, because you probably are like Paige too: always learning something new about yourself, & ready for a new challenge to become a better person, a better friend or a parent or a colleague. And a better friend to yourself, too. I've attached a couple of photos to my narrative of Paige Martinez, one of which is of her with Chapito Chavarria. The photographer is Jorge Quintero. The photos were included in the article Paige wrote for the September, 2013 issue of Latino Perspectives Magazine, titled "Chapito Chavarria: Bygone Elegance Recaptured."

I also cite additional sources I used for this narrative: Untold New Mexico: Stories From a Hidden Past. By Jason Silverman. (Santa Fe: Sandstone Press, 2006); "Chapito Chavarria, Harmony Man." By Paige Martinez. A documentary. 2013; "Adiós a una gran mujer, Paige Martínez siempre en nuestro corazón." By María Teresa Bonilla. IN: Panorama Online News Site. December 10, 2014; "RIP Paige Martinez." By Paul Stekler. Austin Chronicle. December 2, 2014; "Chapito Chavarria's 100th Birthday Celebration at the MIM." By Patricia Myers. IN: All About Jazz. An online magazine. December, 2014; "Coming of Age." By Morgan Lee. Albuquerque Journal. April 6, 2001. --- You should know that Dr. Kerry Loewen, Paige's graduate advisor in the Media Arts program at the Univ. of New Mexico-Highlands, organized a candle-lit vigil ceremony & remembrance on the campus for Paige on December 8th. ..Paige's work on her documentary on Chapito Chavarria was in its final stages of completion, with a bit more editing and translation to be done........

By Christine Marin, Professor Emeritus
Department of Archives and Special Collections
University Libraries. ASU, Tempe

Honorable Peter Chacon: Father of CA Bilingual Ed and Chicano Leader Passed December 14, 2014
The February 2014  issue of Somos Primos will have a full tribute. 


True Story of the Kids Who Beat MITs Best Robots
2015 Women of Color in Political Science Workshop
Meet Ellen Ochoa,Ph.D.,  1st Hispanic Woman in Space

Echoes of Incarceration, a documentary project produced by youth with incarcerated parents 
U.S. encourages students to study in Mexico by Lorena Figueroa 
Lessons from Arizona: Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo  


A still from the new movie, also called Spare Parts, based on Joshua Davis’ 2005 WIRED story: David Del Rio as Arcega, José Julián as Santillan, Carlos PenaVega as Vazquez, and Oscar Gutierrez as Aranda.

Ten years ago, contributing editor Joshua Davis received a press release that gave him pause. Clumsily formatted and full of typos, the email described an underwater robot competition, funded by NASA, in which four high school students in Phoenix, Arizona—three of them undocumented immigrants from Mexico—beat MIT to win gold. Davis picked up the phone to learn more.

That reportorial instinct turned into the WIRED story “La Vida Robot” (issue 13.04), which mentioned that three of the young men didn’t qualify for federal student loans because of their immigration status. WIRED readers eventually raised more than $90,000 in scholarships for Oscar Vazquez, Cristian Arcega, Luis Aranda, and Lorenzo Santillan.

Now the story of those robot-builders has a new chapter. Spare Parts, starring George Lopez and Carlos PenaVega, opens in January, and Davis is publishing a book by the same titleupdating the kids’ story. “What happened to these guys fascinates me,” Davis says. “It changed their lives.” How? Here’s a preview.

Lorenzo Santillan: Santillan, whom Davis describes as “the mechanical genius who also loved cooking, an out-of-the-box thinker,” used the WIRED scholarship money to attend culinary school. Now he and Luis Aranda run a catering firm in Phoenix. He’s also a line cook at a local restaurant and moonlights as a mechanic.

Luis Aranda: Aranda was a US citizen when the group won the contest; today he runs a catering company with Santillan and works as janitorial supervisor for the courts in Phoenix.

Oscar Vazquez: Thanks to the scholarship funds provided by WIRED readers, Vazquez graduated from Arizona State University—but afterward he couldn’t resolve his immigration status and returned to Mexico. Then Senator Dick Durban learned of Vazquez’s plight and helped him get amnesty. Vazquez returned to the US, enlisted in the Army, and saw combat in Afghanistan. Today he’s a mechanical foreman for BNSF railroad in Montana. The movie coming out is “pretty surreal and exciting,” he says. “I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Cristian Arcega: “He was the genius kid, supersmart,” Davis says. Arcega couldn’t finish college, in part because of money; a ballot measure raised tuition for undocumented immigrants. For a time, Arcega worked at Home Depot and now helps with a neighbor’s business. Besides that, “most of my time is spent working on product ideas,” Arcega says.

Check this out at

Sent by National Association of Latino Independent Producers

2015 Women of Color in Political Science Workshop
Sept 1-2, 2015, San Francisco, CA


Over a decade ago, in August 2002 at Northeastern University, 43 participants convened the first Workshop on Women of Color Studies in Political Science. For two days, renowned political science scholars and graduate students met in both plenary and workshop sessions to discuss the study of women of color through diverse theoretical and pedagogical perspectives, empirical methods, curricula development, and scholar activism. In keeping with the legacy of the inaugural workshop, it is our esteemed honor to host the third Women of Color in Political Science Workshop to convene in as a prelude to the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association.

Purpose: The 2015 workshop intends to build a mentoring network of women of color in the political science discipline by addressing the challenges faced by graduate students and faculty as women color and by building a braintrust among the participants for the purpose of enhancing research and teaching on women of color in the discipline.

Focus: The workshop will include plenary and panel sessions on research related to topics on women of color such as political participation, intersectionality, public policy, and interdisciplinarity, classroom and curriculum issues in courses about women of color, preparation for important professional milestones, such as going on the job market, going up for tenure promotion to higher ranks in the professoriate, building a research agenda and publishing strategies, and acknowledgement of departmental climate issues faced by researchers in this area. Participants also will be able to choose among small group discussion sessions on different theories, methods (quantitative and qualitative approaches), frameworks, and empirical topics commonly encountered in research on women of color.

Call for Applicants: Women of color who are advanced graduate students, junior faculty, and associate professors who are interested in studying the political experiences of women of color are urged to apply. Those who do not work explicitly in the fields of women of color, gender, intersectionality, etc. they are welcome to submit an application to this conference. Financial assistance with lodging will be available. There is no fee for the workshop.

Applications from graduate students must include:
(1) Completed Application Form (online form for STUDENTS:
(2) Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) submitted electronically to<>
(3) Two letters of recommendation submitted electronically to<>

Applications from faculty must include:
(1) Completed Application Form (online form for FACULTY:
(2) Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages), include research/teaching interests submitted electronically to<>

Deadline to complete application is Monday, February 2, 2015.
Questions can be directed to< .

Visit the FB page: 

Thank you,  Jessica Lavariega Monforti, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor of Political Science
Director, Center for Survey Research

The University of Texas - Pan American
Department of Political Science
1201 West University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78541


Meet Ellen Ochoa, 1st Hispanic Woman in Space, PhD, 
Director Johnson Space Center, and 2nd Generation Immigrant!

Ellen Ochoa has a life story that highlights just how well second generation immigrants from Mexico are doing in America today! Her story should inspire us all, especially the children and grandchildren of immigrants from third world nations. Ellen Ochoa’s origins are humble, but she reached for and realized the American dream, becoming a PhD, an engineer, the world’s first female Hispanic astronaut, and now the director of one of NASA’s premier facilities, the Johnson Space Center, also known as mission control.

Early Life and Family of Ellen Ochoa

Ellen OchoaEllen Ochoa as child: Ellen Ochoa was born in 1958 in Los Angeles, one of five children of Joseph and Roseanne Ochoa. Joseph Ochoa was a retail store manager, and Roseanne Ochoa a homemaker. Ellen grew up mostly in La Mesa, California.

Joseph was born and raised in Arizona to immigrant parents from Sonora, Mexico, one of 12 children. His parents were born in the 1870s, and his father was a newspaper editor in Mexico, then owned a store in Arizona. Ellen didn’t know her grandparents, as they were already in their 80s when she was born, but certainly their hard working immigrant values and ambition passed down to Ellen. 
Had they still been alive for Ellen’s first space flight, we can be sure they would have felt immense pride.

While growing up in Arizona, Joseph felt the sting of rampant discrimination against Hispanics, for example Hispanics were only allowed to use the public pool the day before cleaning because it was felt they dirtied the pool. Though Joseph was bilingual, he spoke English only at home, not wanting to teach his children Spanish, fearing the lash of discrimination he had experienced if they spoke Spanish or spoke English with an accent.

Roseanne Ochoa, mother of five, began part-time college studies when Ellen Ochoa was just one, and though she could only take one class at a time and didn’t graduate from college until 22 years later, her example of perseverance clearly inspired Ellen Ochoa to excel in school.   Joseph and Roseanne Ochoa divorced when Ellen was in junior high school, and Ellen and her four siblings lived with their mother.

Education of Ellen Ochoa: Ellen Ochoa was an excellent student, and despite the trauma of her parents’ divorce, Ellen graduated as valedictorian of Grossmont High School in San Diego. Ellen then attended San Diego State University, majoring in physics, and graduated once again as valedictorian!

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa graduation photo: Ellen Ochoa then received a master of science degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1981 and 1985. At the time there were few women studying engineering and the sciences, and Ellen Ochoa was discouraged from pursuing these fields because she was a woman, but she persevered and excelled.

Side note: as an electrical engineer myself, I can tell you that electrical engineering is a grueling curriculum, requiring a strong foundation in math and the sciences. Stanford is a top notch university for engineering and the sciences, and just being admitted to a prestigious university like Stanford is an accomplishment in itself. I studied Electrical engineering about the same time as Ellen at UNO, and just six of 150 students were women, who were all especially hard working and motivated to succeed.

Ellen Ochoa’s Career from her NASA bio:

As a doctoral student at Stanford, and later as a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and NASA Ames Research Center, Dr. Ochoa investigated optical systems for performing information processing. She is a co-inventor on three patents for an optical inspection system, an optical object recognition method, and a method for noise removal in images. As Chief of the Intelligent Systems Technology Branch at Ames, she supervised 35 engineers and scientists in the research and development of computational systems for aerospace missions. Dr. Ochoa has presented numerous papers at technical conferences and in scientific journals.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Ochoa became an astronaut in July 1991. Her technical assignments in the Astronaut Office include serving as the Crew Representative for flight software, computer hardware and robotics, Assistant for Space Station to the Chief of the Astronaut Office, lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control, Acting Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office, Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, and Director, Flight Crew Operations, where she managed and directed the Astronaut Office and Aircraft Operations. A veteran of four space flights, Dr. Ochoa has logged over 978 hours in space. She was a mission specialist on STS-56 (1993), was the Payload Commander on STS-66 (1994), and was a mission specialist and flight engineer on STS-96 (1999) and STS-110 (2002). Dr. Ochoa currently serves as Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Here’s a video clip of the launch of mission ST-56, first space flight of Ellen Ochoa, also the first Hispanic woman astronaut!

Sent by Lorraine Frain




a documentary project produced by youth with incarcerated parents

We're excited to finally take the wraps off our collaboration with Sesame Street! Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street (which last year released their amazing Incarceration Toolkit) partnered with the Echoes crew to create a film for the social media site Upworthy, to continue spreading awareness about the issue of children with incarcerated parents, and particularly the issue of visiting. 

The collaboration was part of Sesame Workshop's ongoing commitment to create resources for children going through life's most difficult issues and to continue helping all kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder.   It was an incredible honor to partner with them.  

Watch HERE and please share this video to help us continue to raise awareness about this issue. 

We Need Your Help: We're half way through our series of films based on the Bill of Rights.  To date we've given away hundreds of DVD's and screened thousands of times across the country. We've brought our stories to churches, prisons, universities, and the White House. Now we need to raise money to finish the series of films, and train more youth in film production, and make sure that the voices of children of incarcerated parents get heard. Find out more and help make it happen HERE.

Sent by  Jeremy Robins 


U.S. encourages students to study in Mexico by Lorena Figueroa / El Paso Times, 12/05/2014 

JUAREZ — Despite Mexico sharing a common border and economic and social ties with its U.S. neighbor, México is far from being a popular destination for American students.

Currently, only 3,800 American students study in México, according to U.S. government figures. That ranks Mexico as the 15th most popular country for U.S. students who want to study abroad.  

Both governments are trying to change that. A new initiative called "100,000 Strong in the Americas" intends to send 100,000 American students, not only to México, but to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In exchange, the education initiative aims for the same number of students from those countries to learn and train in the U.S. by the year 2020.

The goal is to strengthen bi-national relations and better prepare young adults for the 21st-century global workforce, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele T. Bond said this week while in Juarez.  "It will be a tough goal to meet, but it is a great challenge," she said during a visit to promote the program.

According to the international non-profit Open Doors Report 2014 of the Institute of International Education, about 45,500 U.S. students study in Latin America and the Caribbean — three times less than the number of American students in Europe.  And most American students prefer to study in Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil instead of México, the report says.  Bond acknowledged that Mexico's recent drug war and crime has deterred American students from México.

According to the report, there were almost 10,000 American students in México at the beginning of the 2007 school year when former Mexican President Felipe Calderón was beginning the country's offensive against the drug cartels and violence began escalating .

By 2009, there were 7,150 U.S. students in México, shrinking to almost 4,170 a year later, the report says.

The number of Mexican students studying in the U.S. also dropped slightly during the same years — from almost 14,850 Mexican students in the U.S. in 2007 to 13,710 in 2010. However, the number of Mexicans studying in the U.S. grew to a current 14,800 this year, the report says.

Bond said the U.S. government is determined to increase the number of student exchanges because of the contribution to the U.S. economy and prosperity.  Students who study abroad learn about what is needed to lead a globalized economy, as well as a new language and gaining a cross-cultural understanding, she said.  "We need to get students excited, interested and aware of all the opportunities they have to study abroad. It is not going just to happen," Bond said.

As part of the initiative, she said, the U.S. and Mexican governments have held six binational workshops over the past year to expand economic opportunities for U.S. and Mexican citizens. The two countries are also developing a shared vision on educational cooperation.

One of the workshops was held at the University of Texas at El Paso in March, when more than 90 U.S. and Mexican government, private sector, civil society and higher education representatives met to discuss the potential of the border region for binational higher education cooperation and exchanges.

The U.S. government has also established the "100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund," which promotes and supports international study programs.  For more information about the "100,000 Strong in the Americas," visit

Lorena Figueroa may be reached at 546-6129.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Lessons from Arizona: Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo  
By Rodolfo F. Acuña  
8 December 2014  

Mexico is a nation of memories – the people treasure their favorite stories of the past. They know the oldies. Go to a Mexican concert or night club, and unlike Anglo American events the audience spontaneously breaks out in song.  

As a child, I’d listen silently to my elders -- children did not speak unless someone called bacin (literally a bed-pan).  It was fascinating how everyone would recall a proverb and nod. No one had to explain what it meant.  

There were hundreds of sayings, which I absorbed with time. I felt like an adult when I understood them. The older people seemed like the most communicative, they were in the know. The refranes became part of my shared knowledge.  My favorite saying -- one that I have often repeated is “Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.” I have repeated it in my writings and it becomes truer as my hair turns white.  
Diablo courtesy of AbsolutMexico

It is not just age that makes one wiser, but the chaffs and sparks of life. I have known people of my age who have learned little about life, and their most profound decision is the color of their RV.  

A big part of my life has been Arizona. I have memories of my childhood and grandparents talking about it as if it were the Holy Land. The names of people and places over time became familiar through relished proverbs -- so much so that by the time I visited Tucson at the age of five or six, it was déjà vu.  The streets seemed familiar as if I were seeing them through the eyes of my grandparents.  

In 2010, I spoke at a teacher institute sponsored by the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies Program.  Although there were clouds in the horizon, I was able to grasp the situation. I could foresee the imminent storm and ugly stain of xenophobia that had increased since the early 1970s, acerbated by the arrival of large numbers of white easterners and Midwesterners, who incessantly complained about Mexicans messing up their Pleasantville – too much color. This was so even though “the Mexicans” cleaned after them and cared for them in hospices.  

A month before the MAS Institute the Arizona Legislature passed the draconian SB1070 that made it a crime for an alien to be in Arizona without carrying required documents and obligated police to make "lawful stops, detentions or arrests", to determine a person's immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that the person was an “illegal alien”.  I did not have to read much to realize that this was the beginning of open warfare on immigrants – a race war many of us had predicted.  

Almost simultaneously HB 2281 wove its way through the Arizona Legislature. It prohibited public schools from offering courses at any grade level that advocated ethnic solidarity, promoted the overthrow of the US government. It was as if the ghost of Joseph McCarthy had returned to haunt us.  

After meeting with Sean Arce, students and teachers I enlisted in the struggle. Being from California I knew my limitations and the landmines ahead. It reminded me of the refrain, “amor de lejos es de pendejos.” In this environment you did not have the luxury to become a true believer, and as an outsider was limited to advice and support. Because of the distance, I could do little about ameliorating the predictable mistakes and misjudgments.  

You gain more from activism than any library. You learn to rely on your instincts.  The barrio is the ultimate learning laboratory where you test what you have learned. I immediately recognized that 1070 and 2281 were related and they did not happen by accident.  

This led me to two questions: why Arizona? And, who was paying for the disorder? I instinctively “followed the money.” Arizona is a small state, and it was and is part of a national campaign to privatize public institutions and resources. For the corporations, privatization means paying little or no taxes and the opening huge new markets without a heavy investment of capital. It is analogous to the federal governments handing out free land and giving away of national resources such as the airwaves.  

The assault on Arizona was possible through the selling two American commodities -- fear and hate. Go to the movies and to Magic Mountain to have the shit scared out of you. This tactic was used in Arizona as the Koch Brothers and other merchants of fear paid Tea Party organizers and encouraged the growth of wannabe Nazis called minutemen.  

Fear and hate of Mexicans is nothing new. Its commodification made it profitable and SB 1070 was the perfect vehicle. Many Arizona prisons had already been privatized so 1070 was a boon -- the federal government and the taxpayers paid to incarcerate “the illegals.”  It opened a free market on guns and gun manufacturers made a killing selling to the fearful as well as Mexican cartels. The banks made a profit laundering the dirty money.  

2281complemented 1070, and it was just as insidious – it ensured supplies of future inmates. It sought to keep Mexicans ignorant about the political, economic and social realities of Arizona. Finally, schools are profit centers for corporations. The ruling elite influence the appointment of high paying administrators and control over lucrative contracts. In Arizona, Charter schools are totally privatized and outside the control of boards of education. They are islands of white flight that is spurred by fear of Mexicans.  

No doubt the organizers against 2281 made mistakes. Unlike the forces of reaction such as the Tea Party, they did not have paid organizers. Personalities loomed as did petty jealousies of early supporters. That was, however, to be expected; however, it can rip a movement apart.  “Porque los celos son el furor del hombre, y no perdonará en el día de la venganza”.  

Through this experience I learned that what is ultimately important is not the Chicana/o Studies model. I thought that we had the key at Northridge with our area studies model. However, the lesson from Arizona was that while the curriculum is important, the gut of the Tucson success was not the model but teachers who believed in their students and in the importance of the subject matter. They acted as a team to instill in the students that they were actors in history. This is something that you cannot design.  

In California the struggle to get a curriculum into the public schools is underway. But if we are to make a difference we have to go after the Colleges of Education that train teachers. In 1985 I went after Chancellor Anne Reynolds for proposing to raise the CSU’s admission requirements. She almost had me fired, and even the liberals attacked me. LA Times columnist Frank Del Olmo came to my defense pointing out if students came unprepared to the CSU, it was because they were poorly prepared by the CSU that trained most of California’s teachers. "Árbol que nace torcido jamás su tronco endereza".  

Finally, the devil learned from Arizona how a state was totally privatized and taken over by corrupt corporate interests. When the UNAM controversy came to light in November 2013, I immediately sent up the alarm that this was the final leg of the privatization of CSUN. I warned the Provost that the deal would come back to bite him. Mexico like Arizona is controlled by people who believe that greed is good, and our provost is blinded by the color green. "Acuestate con perros y tendrás pulgas".

 Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 



Tobin Center Lags In Latino Inclusion, Antonia Castañeda, Arturo Madrid 
        and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
I need to hear music IN SPANISH in my life by Margarito J. Garcia III, Ph.D.
What do Ireland and Mexico have in common? Let me count the ways
by Gil Sperry 

Tobin Center Lags In Latino Inclusion
Antonia Castañeda, Arturo Madrid and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
San Antonio Express-News  (December 4, 2014) 

San Antonio has historically been recognized as a "gateway" metropolis where diverse cultures co-exist providing the city with a unique cosmopolitan ambiance. 

In the 21st century, living Mexican American/Latino cultural expressions in the performing, visual and theatrical arts, in folklore and in food are central ingredients to the cultural life of the United States. In San Antonio, they are pivotal to the cultural life of our city, as well as to animating and sustaining tourism and development projects citywide. 

Still, the Tobin Center falls in line with the other so-called "first-tier" institutions which continue a sort of "cultural apartheid" system, seeing Mexican American/Latino cultural  production as exotic and foreign appendages, rather than core components of contemporary American society and culture. 

Though the leadership of the Tobin Center appears willfully unknowing, Mexican American/Latino culture is American culture; American culture is Mexican American/Latino culture. Thus it is an affront to the Mexican American and Latino populations of San Antonio that the supposedly "state of the arts" Tobin Center in its inaugural season continues to render Mexican American/Latino artists and productions as peripheral elements in its total programming, both in the popular and classical repertoire. 

The Tobin Center's repertoires in music, dance and performing arts remain Anglo-centric. Its resident companies do not register the multicultural diversity of the city. 

Bexar County voters approved $100 million in construction bonds in May 2008; the city of San Antonio contributed the Municipal Auditorium and the adjacent Fire Department Headquarters building, together valued at $41 million, for a total of $141 million of public monies to the Tobin. 

Surely, given the alleged cosmopolitanism of the city's cultural leadership, the desire of the city's movers and shakers to make San Antonio a "first-class city," and the large amounts of public funding made available to the Tobin and other "mainstream" cultural institutions at the expense of San Antonio's grass-roots cultural organizations, there would be more enlightened and inclusive programming and staffing. Instead we get willful ignorance and willful neglect. 

Alas, the leaders of the city's cultural institutions take umbrage when reminded of these historical and contemporary realities, and respond after the fact by appointing a committee to "study" the matter. Perhaps they need instead to take a short course in the history and cultural expression of Mexican Americans and the other Latino populations of the U.S., or alternatively, find placement at a locale where they are not burdened by the cultural legacy of San Antonio, of Texas, or of the United States. 

Antonia Castañeda and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto are independent scholars. Arturo Madrid is a professor of humanities at Trinity University.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno

I need to hear music IN SPANISH in my life
Dear Readers,

As a little boy (about age six) my grandfather used to own a local “cantina” in Ft. Stockton, Texas. In addition, I was a “part-time” messenger boy to and from my grandfather, so I would go in and out of the cantina with his permission. I learned from observation that the most frequent customers to the cantina were the Mexican “bracero’s” (farm laborers) who would come in on Saturday’s. And I also learned that the workers who came there, liked to put money in a coin-operated juke box therein. Additionally, I observed that after some drinking, the “trabajadores,” would belt out a lot of “gritos” to the music—predominantly Mexican rancheras like those from Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete (old time popular Mexican singers).

One day, someone at the cantina came up with the idea that I should show off how well I, too, could belt out a “grito.” So it was proposed that for tips I should throw “gritos” to the music from the “rancheras” coming out of the juke box. The challenge from the braceros to me was that if I gave out a good enough “grito,” that they would give me either a nickel, dime, or a quarter---the better the grito, the larger the coin. The idea that I could possibly entertain the braceros was novel to me, but I was game (with my grandfather observing). Well, it would not be long before I got rewarded for my talent. I subsequently earned enough for the one dollar entrance fee to the local theater playing the latest Pedro Infante movie---where I could hear him sing more rancheras.

So for a long time (since my youth), I’ve been hooked on music with Spanish lyrics, styles, and/or genres. This is why I want to share a certain experience I’ve had. Some years ago, one of the things that I missed most after moving from the Chicago/Gary Metroplex area back to Lansing, Michigan, were the two 24/7 all-Spanish radio stations in the Chicago Metroplex. I missed those stations regardless of the genre of music they played---whether it was current or old, pop, rock, Nortena’s, Tejano, rancheras, tropicales, mariachi, romanticas, cumbias, merengue, etc., etc.

Later in my career, I then moved from Lansing to San Antonio for six years. But I then again experienced my pain for the second time in my life when I relocated back from San Antonio,Texas Metroplex to Lansing, Michigan! Like previously, I subsequently sorely missed the handful of 24/7 all-Spanish radio stations from S.A.---again, whether those stations played current or old, pop, rock, Nortena’s, Tejano, rancheras, tropicalales, mariachi, romantica’s, merengue, cumbias, etc., etc.

In essence, I need to hear music IN SPANISH in my life in order to better enjoy my language, my culture, and my heritage. We need more all-Spanish radio stations in America, not less! Am I the only Chicano who is “pained” when he doesn’t have enough music in Spanish in his life? As a Spanish-speaking (and Spanish-listening) Chicano, I need to throw a couple of “grito’s” every once in a while to make me feel normal! Am I the only one that thinks this way? Are Chicanos today so “Anglicized” that they have forgotten their musical roots? Or not? What do you think? Let me hear from you! 

Margarito J. Garcia III, Ph.D.
(Copyright 2014) 
Printed by Permission

What do Ireland and Mexico have in common? Let me count the ways by Gil Sperry
San Diego Mexican Culture, Examiner  

Well , first of all, we can go back to relatively recent history, the Mexican-American War that began in 1846. Students of international conflicts might remember that during this 'dust-up', several Irish immigrants who began the conflict fighting on the side of the Americans switched their allegiance to the underdog mexicanos and formed the Saint Patrick (or, en espanol, San Patricio) Battalion.When Mexico accepted defeat in 1848, several dozen of the defectors were caught by U.S. forces and were hung as traitors. However, in Mexico, to this day, the sons of Ireland who were executed continue to be honored as heroes.In addition, many modern day south-of the-border icons are of Irish ancestry. Alvaro Obregon (originally O'Brien) was President of The Republic from 1920-24, Academy Award winning actor Anthony Quinn was the son of a Mexican father and Irish mother, and, close to home, the Ireland born-and-bred Crosthwaite clan are one of the founding families of Baja California's Rosarito area.

How about other commonalities? Going way back we can look at the religious faith...Catholicism...that both countries share as well as a common enemy most of the Francaise. But perhaps the most unusual congruity of them all is in the field of the terpsichorean arts. When Sandra Dibble of the San Diego Union Tribune dabbled on the shared roots in her 2011 article entitled "Irish Dancers from Tijuana?', she was barely scratching the surface of what has become a worldwide phenomenon.

As she pointed out, "Tijuana is one of the few places in Mexico where Irish step dancing is taught and performed. Fernando Lopez Maldonado, director of the city's elite public high school Prepa Federal Lazaro Cardenas dance program, pointed out that he began teaching the steps back in 2002 after watching a traveling troupe perform Irish maestro Michael Flatley's 'Lord of The Dance' show."

Dibble opened the door to more research on the subject when she briefly mentioned that " the Irish step dances are somewhat reminiscent of the Mexican zapateado style popular in the southern state of Veracruz."

That research uncovered a lot more than a passing similarity.

Dan Haren and Ann Richens, who ran a Columbus, Ohio based Irish Dance Academy, were indefatigable researchers who traced the roots of their native country's contributions to a variety of dances first performed in the mid-1500s. "These included the Rinnee Fada or Fading, where two lines with partners faced each other. The dances had a fast tempo and included side steps." Fast forward 200 years to when "a major influence on Irish dance and culture was the advent of the traveling Dance Masters. Sometimes the itinerant teachers had to tie a rope around a student's leg to distinguish right foot from left. Having an eminent dance master associated with a village was a cause for pride and boasting by the community."

"Each dance master had a repertoire of dance steps and he created new steps over time. By the way, eight measures or bars of music were called a 'step, hence the term 'step dancing."

"Dance Masters created the first schools of dancing; villagers paid the dance masters and the accompanying musicians from the proceeds collected at a 'benefit night' held to present the new artistic creations. Apparently the level of the pay for the instructors was relatively high for the country as it included room and board."

At approximately the same historical period, a combination of music and dance that had started in Spain (where it originated as flamenco and fandango) found its way to the Mexican state of Veracruz during the colonial period where it was called jarocho or zapateado. It was an amalgam of Spanish baroque music played by musicians accompanied by rhythmically talented dancers stamping out the rhythms (often with two lines of performers facing each other on raised platforms called tarimas).

The Mexican National Folk Dance, derived from this style, is called the Jarabe Tapatio. The late great ethnomusicologist Francis Toor tells us that back in the 1920's " was danced by rancheros and their partners....and it was gay and it was fiery. In many instances a wooden platform was placed over an excavated area or over buried jars to produce a resonance. The dance sometimes lasted for hours."

Now we can compare 'Lord of The Dance' choreography (the pinnacle of Irish step dancing) with Mexico's baile folklorico zapateado/jarocho and the similarities are striking. In fact, as writer Agustin Gurza of The Los Angeles Times told us in 2006 "...British born dance director Richard O'Neal gave up his job as assistant director of Michael Flatley's international production company of 'Riverdance' and attempted to launch a Mexican version of the show to be based on the rousing, foot-stomping dance style known as son jarocho, native to the southern state of Veracruz. The invitation had come from a powerful, highly placed fan of 'Riverdance," (then) Veracruz Governor Miguel Aleman Velasco."

Can an amalgam of the two country's dance heritages succeed? The jury is still out on the experiment, but on February 28th you can see extremely talented young Mexican dancers perform Irish choreography interpreted by a local, brilliant and talented dance master; by the way, you can do this without traveling to the ends of the earth and having to pay a king's ransom.

Check out the recently created Facebook event page titled 'International Triple Treat Benefit Concert' and find out how you can support a worthy cause while being marvelously entertained by not only the aforementioned Danza Irlandesa, but by the celebrated Blue Agave, under the Musical Direction of the internationally acclaimed Andy Abad, and the Latin Grammy-nominated Trio Ellas. It all takes place at the Rosarito Beach Hotel's historic Salon Mexicano. Packages including event tickets and two nights at the iconic oceanfront hostelry are available and...while they last...affordable. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the show starts promptly at 7:00 PM.

Please contact the Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito's President, Rosy M Torres, for all the details at: or (661) 850-1773 and find out how you can enjoy a very special evening spent celebrating similarities.


Genie's Gifts: "My 15 Grandmothers" by Genie Milgrom
2015 International Latino Book Awards, submission received by January 20, 2015
Spare Parts by Joshua Davis, book and movie
Gabriel García Márquez life work acquired by The Harry Ransom Center
Writing through Revelations, Visions and Dreams by Stella Pope Durarte
Special Books: Books that Change American History
Three Decades of Engendering History: Selected Works of Antonia I. Castañeda
Timer Warner Primary Supporter for NALIP Latino Film Incubation Program 

Genie’s Gifts:  “My 15 Grandmothers”

and “How I Found My 15 Grandmothers/Como Encontre Mis 15 Abuelas”

Reviewed by Chana Mendez  


     Genie Milgrom,  My 15 Grandmothers, The Journey of My Soul from the Spanish Inquisition to the Present, c. 2012 Genie Milgrom, ISBN: 1478297077;  ISBN 13: 978-1478297079, privately published 16 October 2014    

    Genie Milgrom,  How I Found My 15 Grandmothers, A Step by Step Guide/Como encontre a Mis 15 Abuelas, English/Spanish Edition, c. 2014, privately published, 14 December 2014

    Genie Milgrom website:


“As we started to leave, the three of us stood near the small white rickety fence that separated us from the sheer drops to the river and wondered what it had felt like for the Conversos to see another land, a hope for the future so close and yet so far at the same time.  Did many of them die while scaling those cliffs in an attempt to reach the other side?  Could they even fathom that the brass ring that they were throwing into the air via their hopes and dreams would rise from the earth to glimmer and shine for me to catch 500 years later?”

                                                                    (p. 133, My 15 Grandmothers, quoted with permission)  

     Genie Milgrom, a Cubana who grew up as a Catholic in Havana and in Miami Florida, was from a young age very drawn to the “Old Testament” and to Judaism.  She eventually converted to Judaism, and began her search for her maternal genealogy, Ramos-Ramos, only to discover, after a lengthy and difficult search, that she was from Jewish converso descent.  Her maternal grandparents were descended from Crypto-Jews who had converted to Christianity but kept their Jewish faith alive and secretly handed down over generations.  

     As a child in Cuba, she remembers attending an elite private school with the daughter of Che Guevara.  Her family fled Cuba after Fidel Castro’s triumph over Batista.  In Miami, they no longer had servants, and she and her sister had to learn to keep the house clean.  Her description of how her mother taught her to sweep may ring a bell for many of us who were also taught to sweep this way:  

     “I remember taking the broom in hand for the first time, opening the front door and sweeping the dust outside.  My mom came flying across the room, shut the door and told me that I always had to sweep to the middle of the room and pick the dust up from there.  She told me to never ever sweep near or out the door. . .” (p. 17)  

     In Catholic school in Miami, she began to question what she was learning (just as I remember doing in my childhood), not out of skepticism or disrespect, but because she saw contradictions in what they were being taught about the “Old Testament” and she yearned to get at the truth.  She began to seek out Jewish children in summer camp and wherever she could, to learn more about the Torah and Judaism.  

     She married young, to a Catholic man, raised her children, and was divorced about a dozen years later.  This is when she turned again to Judaism.  In the process of studying for conversion to Judaism, she had an unusual spiritual experience, in the form of a vision or dream.  Eventually, she completed her conversion and married a Chassidic Jewish man.  And she resumed her childhood quest to learn about her maternal grandparents’ origins.  Her maternal grandparents were no longer alive, but her grandmother on her death had left Genie a little box containing two Jewish symbols:  a “hamsa” (Hand of God for protection), and a tiny gold earring with a Star of David in the center.  From her grandfather she had uncovered a hand-written genealogy that included in one of the margins the mysterious words, “Nos decian Los Bollicos” (“They called us ‘Los Bollicos’”).  

     She embarked on a genealogical search of her maternal grandmothers, since the Jewish line is transmitted through the maternal lineage.  With her husband’s encouragement, she began an internet and book search of everything she could find about her grandparents’ village in Spain:  a little town called Fermoselle, perched on the Duero River across the border from Portugal.  

     In a website she discovered:  

“Among the oldest family last names in the village of Fermoselle is the Garrido family, which still resides atop the gigantic boulders facing the Duero River at the southwest corner of “La Ronda” heights.  Don Jorge Garrido (1953- ) – a descendant of Don Angel Garrido Fermoselle (1893-1979), his grandfather – as his family descendants is a wine maker and grape grower in this . . . region. .  ..  … origins dating back to Don Antonio Garrido Puente (1852), his Great Grandfather and Don Julian Garrido Castro (1798) his Great, Great Grandfather and Don Agustin Garrido Ramos (1732), his Great, Great, Great Grandfather, whose father (Angel Garrido Fermoselle, (1712) planted the first grapevines . …  The Garrido family descends from Jewish ancestry as many of the families in the town that settled in this remote location who – as many other Jewish families of the epoch, in Spain, adopted their last names derived from either: a town’s name such as “Fermoselle”. . . or a physical landmark . . . Puente meaning “bridge” or Castro meaning “a fortified high terrain location” . . . or “Ramos” meaning “branch from a tree. . . .(pp. 77-78)

Mentioned here were several family names from her ancestry!  

     A friend from a genealogy log, Abraham, connected her to a professional genealogist, Fernando, who was going to Fermoselle where his own family’s origins lay.  They began to discover very interesting things in her ancestral lineage:  One was that people changed their last names:  Jewish converts or forced converts to Christianity had to take on new names, but in order to throw off the Inquisition, they would change the name given at baptism and take on a different name upon marriage or other occasions.   Also, they found repeated documentation of babies who were not baptized in a church:  it was reported to the authorities that they had “baptized” the child at home “’con necesidad’ (out of necessity)” – i.e., presumably the child was ill and could not be taken to church.  

     Eventually, Genie and her husband and their friend Abraham travelled to Fermoselle to try to uncover the Jewish roots of her family.  What they uncovered there, through great difficulty, is amazing, mysterious, and a testimony to the great courage, heroism, and self-sacrifice of her Converso Jewish ancestors, and is really the heart of her book.  

In Fermoselle, they at first kept running into stone walls, with everyone they spoke with denying the Jewish past of the town.  Yet in one internet source, Genie had found an article about Fermoselle that proclaimed, “Judios por los cuatro costados, y si no lo creais en la puerta de la iglesia lo verais pintado.” (“Jews in all four directions, and if you do not think so, on the church doors you will see the indications”) (p. 114, my translation, C. M.)  

     It turns out that not only did the town have a Jewish history, it also had a network of underground tunnels connecting houses together, and underground mikvahs (Jewish ritual baths).  One of the most moving discoveries is when they found a place just outside town called “El Humilladero” (the Place of Humiliation), which appears to have been where Conversos were martyred for their Jewish faith.  

     Among the people who helped Genie in her search were Gloria Mound, and Dr. Stanley Hordes.  From Dr. Roger Martinez of the University of Colorado, Genie learned of the Luis de Carvajal family:  

     “I learned from Roger about Luis de Carvajal, the first Governor of Nuevo Reino de Leon which is today Mexico.  His family was from Fermoselle and partly from the nearby town of Mogadouro in Portugal and Benavente in Spain.  I sent him my work, and he sent me his, and he assured me that the trees were very similar.  I was in awe!  At almost the same time that Stanley verified my work, I was being told that I was also a part of the very famous Luis de Carvajal family.

     Luis de Carvajal, along with many others of his family, including his sister and several nieces and nephews were either judged, sentenced or died in the Inquisition prisons in Mexico.  Francisca, his sister, was burned at the stake.  As it turns out, with the information that I have to date, his grandmother, Francisca, is my 14th great-grandmother.”  (pp.139-140)  

Genie comments,

     “This academic conclusion to my spiritual journey was nothing short of amazing.  I had grown up with a strong sense of not fitting in, then feeling the Jewish connection in my soul, finally converting to Judaism, then living as a convert while being an integral part of the Jewish people and only afterwards finding out I was Jewish all along.  
I had come full circle.” (p. 140)  


Publishers & Authors may now enter the 2015 International Latino Book Awards 
o to International Latino Book Awards Recognizing the Greatness of Award Winning Authors 
Over 1,600 Authors & Publishers have been honored since 1997 
Go to the website to view the great variety of categories and past winners.

Entries must be delivered by January 20, 2015
Latino Marketing 101, Vol. 12, No. 54
Sent by Kirk Whisler, Executive Editor Latino Print Network


High School Robotics Team Demonstrates Tough Road for Undocumented Immigrants  by Clara Moskowitz
November 18, 2014, Scientific American

A new book and film highlight the story of four brilliant teenagers who try to chase the American dream 

In 2004 an underdog team of four undocumented Mexican-American teenagers managed to win a major student underwater robotics competition, beating the likes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The team—Lorenzo Santillian, Christian Arcega, Oscar Vazquez and Luis Arranda—from Arizona’s Carl Hayden Community High School had little funding and no experience in similar contests, but they won the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition, sponsored in part by NASA and the Office of Naval Research. Their scrappy and self-admittedly “ugly” robot Stinky impressed the judges by locating underwater objects, collecting samples and measuring distances in the water better than its competitors.

When Wired editor Joshua Davis wrote about their story for the magazine back in 2005, he expected a feel-good piece about an upstart team beating the odds, but what he found was more complicated. The students all struggled to continue their education past high school because they were not legal U.S. citizens. Although Arizona was the only home most of them knew, they didn’t have many of the rights their fellow students took for granted, including access to in-state tuition rates for college.

Davis stayed in touch with the students over the years and his new book, Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot and the Battle for the American Dream (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Originals, December 2014), tells their story to date. A film about the team, also called Spare Parts, is due out in January 2015. Many of the students are still held back by their undocumented status. They could benefit from proposed laws such as the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would give young people who came to the U.S. as children a path toward permanent residency, but that bill has not yet passed.

Scientific American spoke to Davis and Hayden High robotics team member Oscar Vazquez separately. An edited and condensed transcript of the two conversations follows.

Josh, when did you realize this story was not just about a high school robotics team, but larger immigration issues?
Davis: In my reporting I started to find out there was a subtext. It wasn’t just that these kids were impoverished. It was that they had many fewer opportunities because they were undocumented. This was clearly a major factor in the lives of these students. I said, “Can I talk about this?” All of them had to make a decision, and they all felt like this was important. One of them, Oscar, said this is a Rosa Parks moment, when you just have to do something.

What impact did the original Wired article have on their lives?
Davis: Back when the story was published all these kids wanted to go to college but had no hope of doing so. Even though they had lived in Arizona most of their lives they did not qualify for in-state tuition and as a result couldn’t afford any of the state schools. When we left them Oscar was putting up drywall; Louis was a file clerk. When Wired readers read the story they e-mailed me, and called the magazine, saying, “Where can we send money, how can we help?” We ended up getting over $100,000 of donations to send these kids to college. Oscar ended up graduating from A.S.U. [Arizona State University] with a degree in mechanical engineering. Louis and Lorenzo went to cooking school and now run a catering company.

But after graduating college Oscar had a tough time trying to become a legal citizen.
Davis: Now that he had gotten a degree, he decided he needed to do the right thing. After age 18 and a half, if you are found to be living in the country illegally, you are not only deported but then banned from reentering the country for 10 years. Oscar crossed over the border, went to Juarez and said he’d like to apply for citizenship. He said, “I’m a graduate of A.S.U., I have a degree in mechanical engineering, I’m a robotics expert. The clerk who interviewed him asked if he had ever stayed in the U.S. illegally after the age of 18 and he said, “Yes, I did, this was why.” He was summarily denied entry to the U.S. for 10 years.

That went on for a year, he found a job at a car parts manufacturing factory in Mexico and eventually [Illinois] Sen. Dick Durbin was able to intervene and have the ban overturned, and Oscar returned to the U.S. To him that meant he was finally able to fulfill his original dream, and enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Oscar, what are you up to now?
Vazquez: I got out of the U.S. Army in August. Now I work in Montana for BNSF [Burlington Northern Santa Fe] Railway. I am a foreman in a locomotive diesel shop. It’s kind of like I run a Jiffy Lube for locomotives.

How did you end up in Montana?
Vazquez: That’s where they offered me a job and I took it. The whole family’s here with me. My wife Karla and I have two kids. Samantha is six and Oskar is two.

Josh, how are the other robotics team members doing?
Davis: Christian is unemployed, he’s looking for work. He doesn’t have a college degree [the scholarship money was still insufficient to cover the cost], and so it’s a little hard for employers to perceive him intelligently even though to people who know him it’s apparent. Luis has a night job—he cleans U.S. courthouses. Lorenzo is a chef at a nice restaurant in Phoenix. The two of them have a catering company.

Oscar, how does it feel to finally be a U.S. citizen?
Vazquez: When I went to get my Montana license, it did feel good. I definitely appreciate it and I don’t take it for granted. I grew up with a bunch of boundaries that I couldn’t cross. There were a lot of things I couldn’t do because of that, so now when I can it’s just a great relief. It’s hard to describe. Just growing up and knowing you can’t do something really changes your mentality.

Are you involved in immigration activism?
Vazquez: I try, but it’s been a tough for me to participate. I’m still hoping that the laws can change. The solution for the “DREAMers” [young people who would qualify for the DREAM Act, if it were passed] is not permanent and they don’t know if they’ll be able to change that or what. It’s kind of a Band-Aid right now. I hope that more of them can get the opportunities that I did, especially those that want to serve in the military. I would definitely like to see some change, there’s still more to do.

What do you hope readers take away from the book, and from the movie they’re making?
Vazquez: Hopefully, it opens their eyes to the talent that’s out there; that, just based on prejudices, [immigrants] are not being allowed to grow and become what they should be. I would hope we could give them opportunities so they can use their full potential.

Josh, what do you hope people take away from this story?
Davis: I want to put a face on the debate. I want people to be able to meet these young people and understand why they are here and what they want, because in lieu of that, I think some Americans rely on stereotypes. They hear reports about crime and that is their first instinct when they think about immigrants. And I don’t think that that’s accurate.

On a more specific level, a lot of these kids have great, amazing talents, specifically in science and technology, and at a time when America needs that talent more than ever, when STEM is a huge issue for the country going forward, we should be doing everything we can to encourage that kind of talent.

We’re a country of immigrants. We all know that. These immigrants oftentimes are the people who work the hardest and contribute the most because they are trying to achieve the American dream—and for them, the American dream is the freshest. I saw that time and again in my reporting. These kids who are first-generation or even were born in another country but have chosen America to be their adopted country are extraordinarily hardworking and absolutely committed to doing great things. I would like to live in a country that welcomes that spirit.

This article was originally published with the title "Book Review: Spare Parts."

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 

Following the publication of a story of the four successful Latinos,  in April, 2005, WIRED readers contributed more than $90,000 in scholarships for Vazquez, Arcega, Aranda, and Santillan. 
To see what they’re up to now, click here . 

Sent by Luke Holtzman 


Gabriel García Márquez 

AUSTIN, Texas—The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the archive of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014). The archive documents the life and work of García Márquez, an author who obtained nearly unanimous critical acclaim and a worldwide readership. 

Stella Pope Durarte

A writing memoir that is a roadmap to understanding your own internal world, the "private estate," within. Learning the language of your own soul will empower you and release creative energy that will illuminate your path and guide you in fulfilling your life's purpose. This brilliant memoir will bring to life the intimate “I am” hidden within that, once recognized, raises a cry of joy.

Insights on her personal memoir, and being an "Arizona Maker." 

KABAQ HEARING THE CENTURY: Listen to Stella tell her "Spiral Staircase," and "Chicago" story. 
Enlightenment and humor especially for you! 

Inspired to become a writer by a prophetic dream of her father in 1995, Stella Pope Duarte, descendant of Irish/Latino parents, is described as a “major literary voice in America,” and as an author who “will enlarge humanity.” Her works include: Fragile Night, Let Their Spirits Dance, If I Die in Juárez, Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories, and Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams: The memoir of a writer’s soul. 

Her numerous awards include a 2009 American Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Southwest Book of the Year Award, Arizona Book of the Year Award, a nomination to Oprah’s Book Sense list, and the Women in American History Award. She teaches creative writing for colleges and universities in Arizona, as well as presenting at national conferences and working as an artist-in-residence. 

Stella is currently working on a biography of civil rights leader, Raul Yzaguirre. She believes that writing, like love, begins within, or it doesn’t start at all. 

Contact Stella at:  or on FACEBOOK.        
Sent by Bernadette Inclan Maguire 

Genealogist/historian John Inclan chatting with Arizona author, friend and mentor, Stella Pope Duarte at the home of Bernadette Inclan and her husband Joseph Maguire.


Books that Change American History


We've published over 90 American History Books since 1990, all based upon Unpublished First-Person Accounts of Significant Events in America's history.

These all come from letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, and interviews; which are received from the men, women, and children who were there -- experiencing our history -- long before we were alive. If you don't read our American History Books, you won't be able read their accounts.

Each of these people are truly a national treasure, and each book provides a unique look at our history from their point of view. Every book has 150 to 250 photographs, one-third of which have never been published. Yet if you don't read our American History Books, you can't see these anywhere else.

Books That Change American History, present unread accounts of mysteries, disasters, and significant events. Imagine postcards from a survivor of the 1906 earthquake who wrote for Two Weeks in San Francisco, the diary of a Japanese soldier written while the Marines are Taking Saipan, or Letters From the Field by a US Lieutenant at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

These events include American migrations, social issues, and stories from our wars. Think of a journal by a man during the ConfederateOccupation of West Virginia, a memoir of a First Radio Officer during the Legends of the Flying Clippers, or the interview of an airman who searched for Flight 19 in the Bermuda triangle.

Then there are thousands of photographs taken by our American heroes: a Nurse in the Aftermath of World War I, a Jazz band manager during 30 Days With Nat King Cole, or a nature photographer during A Century in Yellowstone.

We Americans need to know that George Armstrong Custer was a pawn, that Amelia Earhart was a decoy, and that the American Civil War was fought over money. This is the material found within the pages of our American History Books.

Douglas Westfall, teacher, author, publisher

American History Books 
Like you've never read before


click  here

Port Hudson
Last Bastion on the Mississippi

By Pedro Garcia

The story of the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi, including the letters of Union Colonel John A. Nelson, Commander of 3rd Louisiana Native Guards:
The First Black Regiment in the Civil War.

$6.00 Ebook
$12.00 For Ebook & Printed Book


click  here

Raising the Northern Blockade
Submarine Warfare in the Civil War
By Pedro Garcia

Attempts to build a fleet of metal submarines during the Civil War, results in the success with the only wooden, steam powered submarine of the Confederacy. 
150 Pages - 75 Illustrations

$8.00 Ebook
$15.00 For Ebook & Printed Book


Pedro Garcia is considered one of the foremost Civil War writers in America. With a degree in history from the California State University at Northridge, Pedro has produced several published articles of academic note in the field.  He also regularly attends several Civil War Round Tables, within several counties in Southern California. In doing so, he has brought a good number of presentations to these groups as well as other organizations.

    There is no doubt Pedro is well read in the vast arena of the Civil War — his bibliography in this book alone attests to this and includes some of his own writings. Add to that, his research of the Nelson Letters, one will find that Port Hudson — Last Bastion on the Mississippi, is a pinnacle of work, in the immense scope of the American Civil War.  Pedro makes his home in San Diego, CA.

Quotes from the Media Concerning Special Books:

"It's the kind of thing a historian lives for: coming across 
never-published letters"  -- Los Angeles Times

"Of all the books written ... This book is the most unique" 
-- Florida Today

"A compelling new book" 
-- America Comes Alive

"It is riveting reading" 
-- Huffington Post

"American History, One Story At A Time"
 -- Orange County Register

"The truth, as noted here ... is much more down to earth" 
-- Oconto News


An important expect of Somos en escrito’s outreach is collaboration with all our readers. Become a Follower, check on the right side of the cover page, and please pass along this link:, or a link to a specific piece to five new persons at least—that would be super.

Somos en escrito offers a wide literary spectrum in the publications we’ve featured in the past months. From children’s and young adult novels, memoir, and poetry to short stories, provocative essays, science fiction, and a Western novel, we’ve run the gamut of literary fare.
A few highlights: A writer in his literary debut marries Chicano art and astrophysics to address the question of what we must do to save humanity from a world disaster; kid writers from Austin show off their writing skills; poems in Nahuatl, English and Spanish blossom; a Chicano activist fights for Geronimo’s remains to return to his home country; a teenager’s diary reveals all, and a top novelist poses the eternal query: what is truth?

Go to 
Armando Rendón, Editor
Somos en escrito Magazine

Three Decades of Engendering History: 
           Selected Works of Antonia I. Castañeda
                                Edited by 
        Linda Heidenreich and Antonia I. Castaneda

Three Decades of Engendering History collects ten of Antonia I. Castañeda's best articles, including the widely circulated article "Engendering the History of Alta California, 1769-1848," in which Castañeda took a direct and honest look at sex and gender relations in colonial California, exposing stories of violence against women as well as stories of survival and resistance. 

Other articles included are the prize-winning "Women of Color and the Rewriting of Western History," and two recent articles, "Lullabies y Canciones de Cuna" and "La Despedida." The latter two represent Castañeda’s most recent work excavating, mapping, and bringing forth the long and strong post-WWII history of Tejanas. Finally, the volume includes three interviews with Antonia Castañeda that contribute the important narrative of her lived experience—the "theory in the flesh" and politics of necessity that fueled her commitment to transformative scholarship that highlights gender and Chicanas as a legitimate line of inquiry.

"Castañeda's work is important theoretical work on gender/race/sexuality especially in the Spanish colonial era in California."—Cynthia Orozco, author of No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed

About Author:  Linda Heidenreich is associate professor of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman, and the author of "This Land Was Mexican Once": Histories of Resistance from Northern California.   URL: 

Editor: Linda Heidenreich with Antonia I. Castañeda
Contributor: Original Interviews by Luz María Gordillo, Conclusion by Deena J. González 
Hardcover Price: $39.95 

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 

Timer Warner Signs on as Primary Supporter for NALIP Latino Film Incubation Program 

Los Angeles, CA (December 18, 2014) -- The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) today announced that it will receive $150,000 from the Time Warner Foundation in support of their Latino Lens incubation and short content production program. NALIP’s Latino Lens program is a new NALIP initiative that will incubate and produce a series of Latino filmmakers’ projects & showcase their talents as producers, directors, and writers.

“We are thrilled to support this important initiative that will serve to elevate Latino storytellers.” Lisa Garcia Quiroz, President, Time Warner Foundation.

Keeping with NALIP’s mission to foster and promote Latino media artists, the Latino Lens program, with a submission call in early 2015, will select 3-5 short feature film scripts from Latino content creators. Each short film will present through a creative approach and independent focus, a storyline of 3-10 minutes long that will be provided pre-production, production, and post-production tools, resources and assets to support the successful completion of each film while later working with them on distribution strategy and outlets. 

Latino soldiers
 Cebu, Phillipines, WW II


Great News for Roll Call by Alfredo Lugo
Ohio Boy's $20 Gift to Soldier Multiplies
Hispanic Generals and Admirals. Barbara A Mitchell
USS Kidd marks Veterans Day with first military director by Mark H. Hunter
New Members to VA Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans includes Latinos Fall 2014 Activities of the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” 
On Veterans Day: In Memory of all who fell, Honoring all who Served - 
       Reflections of an Octogenarian  by Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

"He came home a Vietnam Hero but the insanity and inequity of the war made him a Murderer"

Alfred Lugo Documentary Producer/Playwright


The performance of Roll Call on November 6, 2014 and November 7, 2014 by the Rio Hondo College Drama class was witnessed by two full houses. The following PTSD Panel Discussion was attended by Joe Leal, Founder of the Vet Hunters, Mr. Manuel Martinez, MS Team Leader East Los Angeles Vet Center and Corporal Ryan Todd of the Whittier Police Department thanks to Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper. An invitation went out to Mr. Richard Bean Director of Public and Community Affairs Long Beach VA. Unfortunately they were a no show.

I want to thank Mr. Christopher Guptill for bringing Roll Call to Rio Hondo College.


Mr. Joseph Eggleston Director of Auxiliary Services for the Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier, California gave us great news that the University wants Roll Call to be produced there in their auditorium. The tentative date will be in May or June of 2015. He will be presenting to the board requesting that it be approved for the auditorium be presented Pro-Bono to the Roll Call production team. They will assist us in putting together our panel discussion on PTSD, TBI, Mental Health and Suicides. They want to help Roll Call bring awareness of PTSD to the community. Actor/playwright/director Enrique Castillo "Veteranos" and Bel Hernandez, "Hola LA" are on board.

Now it is time to get to work and campaign for the funds for production. Please call us if you can help.

12902 Helmer Dr. Whittier, California 90602 562-696-6204 (H) 562-706-3286 (C)


This puts to shame, the output of a number of Hollywood producers/or directors. This film was made by a 15 year old girl. It is the hottest thing on the internet and on Fox News today (December 10th) . Lizzie Palmer, who put this YouTube program together, is 15 years old. There have been over 31,000,000 hits as of this morning.
Sent by Joseph Parr 

Ohio Boy’s $20 Gift to Soldier Multiplies 

I found a great website while searching for our Hispanic Generals and Admirals. 
Barbara A Mitchell has written several books that are listed on her web site.

I noted that on the Texas Generals, its cited that General Richard Cavazos was the first Hispanic Four Star General. He was the, First U.S. Army four Star General.

Since Navy Admirals are also 'generals", the first distinctions for a Spanish Admiral (4-Stars) goes to Admiral David
Farragut who was awarded the U.S. Navy promotion to Admiral on July 28 1866. ("Dammed the Torpedoes"). 

No other 4-star Hispanic General or Admiral until July 31,1964 when Admiral Horacio Rivero, Jr was promoted 
to full Admiral. Admiral Rivero graduated form the USN-USNA Class of 1931 and was from Puerto Rico.,_Jr

Please see other Admirals in our USN. 

A link on Hispanic Generals: (Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine) 

Thank you, Rafael Ojeda
(253) 576-9547
Tacoma WA


Mark H. Hunter,
Special to the Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
November 12, 2014

 There are 2 pictures of my cousin Charles Carmena , a WW2 Vet at yesterdays Veterans' Day ceremony at the Old State Capitol One of the pictures made the Front Page. Makes us Carmenas proud .  Bill Carmena 

The old House chamber was filled nearly to capacity as friends, family and Baton Rouge residents celebrated Veterans Day with speeches, music, fellowship and food.

WW II Veteran Frank Masanz, 92, looked smart in his black dress uniform Tuesday as he led about 200 people in the Pledge of Allegiance at the Old State Capitol.  “I don’t miss any of ’em,” Masanz said of attending Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies.  As a chief boatswain’s mate, he managed the delivery of troops and equipment in Landing Ship Tanks, LST’s, from ships to shores around the Mediterranean Sea in the European Theater.  “We took ’em to the beach — opened the bow door, the ramp, and told ’em to ‘go, go, go,’ ” Masanz said with a laugh. He served for 40 years before retiring from the Navy.

Charles Carmena, 93, sat in front in his wheelchair wearing his World War II Army jacket, holding his brown felt drill sergeant hat. He served in Europe, said his daughter, Catherine Carmena Daylong, and he was in Paris the day the war ended. “I thought it was great,” Carmena said about the service. “We get to see old friends — we don’t want to forget.”

The ceremony began when the Donaldsonville Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps color guard posted the colors.
Sponsored by the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial & Museum, in partnership with Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler and the Old State Capitol, Kidd Museum Director Alejandra Juan emceed the service. Juan is the first female director and the first veteran to serve in the post.

When she asked all the veterans to stand, about half of the audience did so while the rest applauded. “Our veterans are living examples of what it means to lead by example,” Juan said. “They have given us a lifetime of service, and our country has been enriched by their service. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and our nation salutes you.”

Juan, who served 14 years with the Louisiana Air National Guard and earned the rank of captain, acknowledged that the families are actually the heroes, especially the children who persevere while their parents are away on tours of duty.

Major Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, Louisiana National Guard, said over 43 million veterans have served their country since the Revolutionary War, and there are currently over 330,000 Louisiana veterans.  “We are very blessed to be surrounded by these heroes who heeded our nation’s call,” he said.  “Each generation, America has provided men and women with a conviction and a deep sense of sacrifice in service to our nation,” Curtis said. “Those are the men and women we celebrate today.”

There are 180 Louisiana National Guard troops now deployed in Kuwait and Afghanistan, “combat engineers who clear roads of mines and (improvised explosive devices) — very dangerous work,” Curtis said, and another 187 will deploy later this year and early next year. “They are always ready to do whatever our state asks them to do.”

Janice Johnson sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” the Rev. Rene Brown, of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, prayed the invocation and benediction, and proclamations on behalf of Gov. Bobby Jindal, Schedler and East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden were read by their representatives Mike McNaughton, Joe Salter and Gail Grover.

During the playing of a medley of the service anthems, members of each service stood as their song was played over the loudspeakers and they received a hearty round of applause. The Donaldsonville Air Force ROTC chorus sang “God Bless America” and the room jingled with the bells of the MLK Kid’s Bell Choir playing “America” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

A mournful bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace,” played by Kent Howard standing high above the crowd in the balcony, was followed by the similarly mournful rendition of taps on a bugle played by John Wilbert, also from the balcony.

Jerry Forstater, 71, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, 1964-1989, drove up from New Orleans for the event. The highlight of his service, he said, was humanitarian — delivering supplies to those in need around the world.

“When you see a veteran, thank him for his service,” Forstater said. “When you see an active duty (member) in uniform thank them for their service — because you don’t know what they go through — the sacrifice they go through being away from their family.”

New Members Appointed to VA Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans includes Latinos
December 3, 2014

New Members Appointed to VA Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the appointment of five new members to the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans. The committee was chartered on November 2, 1994, and advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the needs of the nation’s 4.7 million minority Veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach and other benefits and programs administered by the VA. The Committee assesses the needs of Veterans who are minority group members and recommends program improvements designed to meet their needs. The committee members are appointed to two or three-year terms. 

Minority Veterans comprise nearly 21 percent of the total Veteran population in the United States and its territories.

The new committee members are:
Patricia Jackson-Kelley: Lt. Col. (US Army-Ret) of Los Angeles, California; Served as one of the first full time Women Veteran Program Coordinators at the Los Angeles VAMC. Currently serves as a member of the LA County Veterans Advisory Council; Board Member of Military Women in Need Organization and LA County Council Commander of the American Legion.
Librado Rivas: Command Sgt. Maj. (USA-Ret) of Manassas, Virginia; State Commander of the DC Chapter, American GI Forum of the United States; National Liaison Officer in Washington, DC, for the National Office of the American GI Forum, and Director of the Army Lean Six Sigma.

Rebecca Stone: Staff Sgt. (USA-Ret) of Columbia, Maryland; served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was medically retired under the Wounded Warrior Program through Warrior Transition Units. She is a certified suicide negotiator/first responder. She was also the recipient of the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) Women of Excellence Award. 
Cornell Wilson, Jr.: Maj. Gen. (USMC-Ret) of Charlotte, North Carolina; currently serves as Military Advisor to the Governor of North Carolina, where he also advises state agencies and Veteran’s organizations on the needs of Veterans. 
Anthony Woods: Army Veteran of University Park, Maryland; currently serves as the Senior Manager at Cisco System’s Consulting Services and consults with the Department of Defense and the Army on IT transformations. Mr. Woods also volunteers with organizations such as Got Your 6 and Hiring Our Heroes. 

The new members join current members:
Marvin Trujillo, Jr., Committee Chairman, Marine Corps Veteran
Richard de Moya, Lt. Col. (USA-Ret)
Elisandro (Alex) Diaz, Navy Veteran
Many-Bears Grinder, Col. (USA-Ret)
Harold Hunt, Army Veteran
Sheila Mitchell, Air Force Veteran
Teresita Smith, Sgt. First Class (USA-Ret) 

In addition to working closely with the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, VA is improving its services for Veterans who are minority group members:  Establishing the Office of Health Equity Research and Promotion, which assesses health equity and health disparities within the health care system to ensure adequate policies are in place to reduce disparities in vulnerable minority Veteran populations.

Funding projects focused on Pacific Rim Veterans, including Spinal Cord Injury outreach and treatment in Hilo, Kona, Maui, Molakai, and Kauai; leveraging telehealth technology to provide clinic based tele-mental health care on the island of Kauai.
Conducting a 3-year project through VA’s Office of Rural Health to establish a collaborative National Native Telehealth Training and Consultative Service which aids in the replication of tele-mental health clinics for use by rural Native American Veterans.

People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the latest news releases and updated fact sheets can subscribe to the 
VA Office of Public Affairs Distribution List. 

John L. Scott Real Estate Agent Broker

 Sent by Rafael Ojeda  (253) 576-9547


Activities of the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” in fall 2014
Hola  . . . 
I want to recognize several recent events which have honored the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” in various geographic regions and that we have not formally highlighted previously: 

1. Vietnam Veterans of American (VVA) Magazine Article – Many thanks to the VVA for their unqualified support in endorsing the Borinqueneers CGM and for publishing an article on the CGM achievement in their recent publication. 
-See attached VVA 65th Inf. CGM article or see here: 

2. Ohio – 2014 Distinguished Hispanic Ohian Awards Gala (Oct. 17, 2014) – Many thanks to the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs for recognizing the Ohio Borinqueneer veterans in this event. 

3. Miami - El Nuevo “Miami” Herald Newspaper Borinqueneers Interview (Nov 05, 2014) – Many thanks to the “El Nuevo Herald” Miami Newspaper for interviewing five Borinqueneers in the Southern Florida area and publishing an article on the 65th Infantry Regiment. (See attached picture)
-Read the “El Nuevo Herald” Article – 
-Watch the “El Nuevo Herald” Interview Video - 

4. Chicago – 2014 National Cuatro Festival (Nov 08, 2014) – Many thanks to the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance for dedicating the 2014 National Cuatro Festival to the Borinqueneers. 

5. Philadelphia Borinqueneers Avenue Renaming Ceremony (Nov 08, 2014) – Many thanks to all of the 65th Inf. supporters in Philadelphia in spearheading efforts to accomplish the Borinqueneers Ave. renaming (See attached picture).
-Read article: 

6. Washington D.C. – American Veterans Center Awards Annual Gala (Nov. 08, 2014) - Four Borinqueneer veterans represented the 65th Infantry Regiment as the 65th Infantry Regiment received the Raymond G. Davis Award from the American Veterans Center Awards Gala in Washington D.C. (See attached picture)
-Read the “El Nuevo Día” article on the American Veterans Center Gala and the Borinqueneers -

7. New York – Mohawk Valley Latino Association Annual Gala (Dec. 06, 2014) – Many thanks to the Mohawk Valley Latino Association for paying a special tribute to the Borinqueneers at their Annual Gala (See attached picture).

8. Texas – Casa de Puerto Rico Killeen, Texas Annual Gala/Banquet (Dec. 06, 2014) – Many thanks to the Casa de Puerto Rico Killeen, TX for dedicating their gala to the 65th Infantry Regiment and inviting several 65th Infantry veterans to the event. (See attached picture)

We are all very glad that the Borinqueneers’ legacy is being “weaved” more and more into the fabric of our American Society. I hope this trend continues with other overlooked notable Latino veterans and groups.
We apologize if we did not list an event which honored the Borinqueneers. Be inspired a honor the Borinqueneers in your local area!

We close a magnificent year and enter a new one with great anticipation!!!

Thank you very much for an outstanding year in making history for the 65th Infantry, Puerto Rico and our Latino veterans. This would not have happened with your tireless efforts. 

Saludos, Frank Medina
National Chair
Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance

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Sponsored by:  You Are Strong! Center on Veterans Health and Human Services 



By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

On the wall in my office at Western New Mexico University where I teach there’s a “shadow box” with a plastron of medals, the Marine Corps seal, and a picture of me when I was 17 in a Marine Corps green uniform and a “pisscutter”—the soft Marine Corps head covering. I’m now 88. At first, my appearance in the photograph appears sad; on reflection, however, I’d say my look in the foto is serious. The picture was taken in 1944—a serious time in American history; also sad.

In 1943 when I enlisted in the Marine Corps American prospects were grim for victory in World War Two. Scuttling across the Pacific from island to island, the Marines and the Army made grueling slow headway in their march toward Japan. It would be another year-and-a-half before the American assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa and Japan’s ultimate surrender. Of the 44 months of the war (from December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945), I served 24 months, a little more than half the duration of the war.

That time seemed interminable then, but those of us in uniform were in “for the duration.” How long that would be none of us knew. The frenetic years of the war were from December 7, 1941 to August 8, 1945 though the official end of World War II is December 1946. 

The turning point of the War in the Pacific—according to many historians—was the battle of Midway in 1942. It didn’t seem that way in August of 1943. For the Marines the turning point of the war was the battle of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands in November 1943. It was after this battle that victory in the Pacific for the United States loomed possible. There was always esprit de corps and euphoria that the United States would be victorious in the struggle between good and evil. But there were dark days when that euphoria and that esprit were dampened by the casualties sustained by the U.S.

In part, my zeal to get into uniform in 1943 was driven by patriotism but more by the thought that the war would pass me by if I didn’t get into uniform soon. Little did I know there were still two years of war left and experiences that would shape my future well into the 21st century. Today, thinking about my experiences in the Marine Corps during World War II, I can say unequivocally that the Marine Corps shaped the form of my life—that is, the methodical nature of how my personal life is organized—and the persistence with which I pursue the inquiries and challenges of life. In other words, the Marine Corps gave me tools with which to handle life and its vicissitudes. Those tools have served me well thus far. 

I was not a model kid at 14 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. By that time my interest in school had waned considerably, and the war exacerbated that lack of interest. I was halfway through the 8th grade on December 7, 1941; I should have been halfway through the 10th grade. 

When I started public school in San Antonio in 1932, there were three tracks of education: one for whites, one for blacks, and one for Mexicans/Indians. I was in the Mexican track. Until I started public school I spoke only Spanish. At school, the teachers spoke only English. Neither of us had Rosetta Stones to navigate the two languages. Bilingual Education was 32 years in the future when the Bilingual Education Act, sponsored by Texas Democrat Ralph Yarbrough would be passed in 1968. 

I played a key role in the passage of that Bilingual Education Act as a founding member of the Texas Association for Bilingual Education which had morphed from the Southwest Council of Foreign Language Teachers founded in 1964 by Maria Esman Barker and Maria Urquides, both often regarded as the mothers of bilingual education. 

In 1932 our English-only-speaking teachers believed in “the acoustic-theory of language.” That is, they believed that the words they spoke in English would waft through the classroom and when they encountered the ears of the students they would be miraculously translated into Spanish. I was not entirely devoid of English. On the streets I learned enough survival English to get by, four-letter words especially, words augmented during my time in the Marine Corps. 

I was a casualty of the American public schools that were not ready for nor particularly wanted Spanish-speaking Mexican American children in their classrooms. I would write about the failure of the American public schools vis-à-vis Mexican Americans in a piece entitled “Montezuma’s Children” published as a Cover Story in The Center Magazine (November/December 1970) of the John Maynard Hutchins Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. The piece was read into The Congressional Record (116, No. 189. Novem­ber 25, 1970, S-18961-S19865) by Texas Senator (D) Ralph Yarbrough who recommended it for a Pulitzer. The piece won a John Maynard Hutchins Citation for Distinguished Journalism.

I was 17 the very day I enlisted in the Marine Corps. The next day I was on a train with hundreds of other recruits headed for Boot Camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. The other recruits were men of varying ages. Not many of us were 17. At Boot Camp we were a motley group of sizes, shapes, and temperaments. In the grueling weeks that followed, our Drill Instructor Sgt John Daley sculpted us like a master-potter into a platoon of leathernecks the Corps expected.

Spare in his praise, nevertheless Sergeant Daley gave me high marks in bayonet training and on the rifle range where I scored as an Expert with the M-1 rifle. I had never fired a rifle before in my life. Having arrived at Boot Camp as a 129 pound kid, at the end of training I had zoomed up to 160 pounds. Everything I ate was fuel for the muscles straining at my uniform. Eventually I pared down to 140 pounds, a weight that remained constant until I was 50. These days I weigh in at 155. When I start to gain weight I blame it on the tortillas!

There’s an old song “They can’t take that away from me.” No matter how assimilated I may appear to many people, that assimilation has been more acculturation. The difference is that I’ve acquired the trappings of American culture without giving up being Mexican. That seems like a fair bargain. You don’t have to give up being Irish, Italian, German, French, et al to be American. Unfortunately, in my day American schools wanted their pound of flesh—they were out to Americanize the children of foreigners at whatever cost. Everyone who wasn’t English was a foreigner. 

In the United States there are two days that honor American veterans: one is Memorial Day—the last Monday in May—and the other is Veteran’s Day —each year on November 11. Since the founding of the nation, some 48 million men and women have served in the U.S. military. More than half are alive today. A small number of World War II veterans are still with us, though they are dying at the rate of about 1,000 a day. 

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

In May of 1966, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo N.Y. as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In December of 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution to remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day. Until 1968 when the Congress established the Uniform Holiday act and moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May, the nation celebrated Decoration / Memorial Day on May 30th as a day of remembrance for Americans who died in battle. 

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

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

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

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

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

When World War II ended in August of 1945, I was 19 years old and a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. I had survived the vagaries of that grueling war and, putting my uniform aside, went out into the world to make my “fortune” with the 16 million men and women who served in that effort. The World War II Documentary by Ken Burns left out the half a million Mexican Americans who served in that fray, winning more medals of honor than any other group in combat. 

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

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

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

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

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

Though they are considerably less, today I see maimed and crippled veterans of World War II struggling to come to terms with the visions they still carry in their minds about that conflagration. And now in our nation there are veterans of Viet Nam and subsequent battles waiting for the gratitude of the nation to heal them of their wounds, to succor them in their time of need.

The nation has not served its veterans well, those who gave their full measure of devotion “to protect and defend.” This is not a panegyric to the nobility of war, for there is little nobility in the ravages of warfare. Memorial Day and Veterans Day should reminder us all that, despite our differences, regardless of color, religion, ethnicity, or gender, we should pay homage to our fellow Americans who have defended the ramparts of our democracy even though that democracy has at times disdained their service as was the case of Felix Longoria, a decorated Mexican American veteran of World War II who was refused burial in the cemetery of his home town of Three Rivers, Texas. Thanks to (then) Senator Lyndon Johnson, Longoria was buried at Arlington Cemetery with full military honors.

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

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

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

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow 
Between the crosses row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
Flanders fields. 

--John McCrae
Copyright © 2009-2014 by the author. All rights reserved.

Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Ph.D., Alum: Pitt, UTx, UNM
British Renaissance/Mexican American Literature, University of New Mexico 1971
Scholar In Residence (01.07-Pr), Cultural Studies, Critical Theory,Public Policy
P.O. Box 680, 1000 West College Ave, Miller Library, Western New Mexico University
Silver City, New Mexico 88062, e-mail:;
O: 575-538-6410, F: 575-538-6178, C: 575-956-5541
Campuses: Silver City, Gallup, Deming, Truth or Consequences, Lordsburg and on the Web

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 


Rosters of Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution 1776-1783 by Jesse O. Villarreal, Sr.
Bernardo de Gálvez y la Independencia de los Estados Unidos
Por Antonio Sánchez de Mora
Fixed Regiment of Spanish Louisiana   
Love And War The Romance of Bernardo and Marie Felicite By Joe Perez 

I am pleased to announce that my book, ROSTERS OF TEJANO PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1776-1783, is now published and available for sale. It is an addendum to my first book, TEJANO PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1776-1783, and contains 51 rosters of the soldiers at Presidio La Bahia del Espiritu Santo and Presidio San Antonio de Bexar.

Please click for details.
Saludos,  Jesse O. Villarreal, Sr.

Bernardo de Gálvez 
y la Independencia de los Estados Unidos

Por Antonio Sánchez de Mora

Six pages of,  as Paul Newfield reports, "about Bernardo, with several impressive images.". 

Archivo General de Indias 
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Subdirección General de los Archivos Estatales 

Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid fue un militar español nacido en Macharaviaya, Málaga, el 23 de julio de 1746. De orígenes modestos, ascendió en el ejército merced a sus hazañas al norte del entonces virreinato de Nueva España, a caballo entre los actuales México y Estados Unidos. En 1772, de regreso a la Península Ibérica, tuvo varios destinos, méritos que sonaban cada vez más en una corte en la que su tío, José de Gálvez, gozaba de gran reconocimiento.

En la Luisiana española

En julio de 1776 Gálvez, que sumaba a su experiencia en América el dominio del francés, fue enviado a la recién adquirida provincia de Luisiana, un vasto territorio al oeste del río Misisipi que había sido recibido de Francia. El nuevo gobernador debía potenciar el comercio de la colonia con puertos franceses e hispanos. Su dedicación a estos asuntos le acercó a los intereses de las familias prominentes de Luisiana, entre las que encontró esposa, Felicitas Saint-Maxent.

Fundó nuevas localidades, como Galveston o Nueva Iberia, en las que asentó pobladores procedentes de los dominios británicos en Norteamérica, que huían del conflicto bélico. También recibió inmigrantes europeos y españoles, como aquellos canarios y malagueños que arribaron a Luisiana por estas fechas, y no se olvidó de contactar con las comunidades indígenas de la región, interesado en afianzar el dominio hispano y contrarrestar la expansión inglesa.

Fixed Regiment of Spanish Louisiana   

Santiago y a Ellos! Fixed Louisiana and Principe Regiment re-enactors charge with fixed bayonets against the British positions, during the re-enactment of the Battle of Pensacola (1781), in Pensacola, Florida in May 2011. — in Pensacola, Florida. 

Without Spain's support, there would not have been a Yorktown victory that led to the end of the American Revolution and the beginning of a new nation. 

Bankrolling the Battle of Yorktown   
Gold and silver from Havana allowed American troops to trap Lord Cornwallis and his army at the Battle of Yorktown
The importance of Spain's support of the colonies during the American Revolution was invaluable, but, sadly, rarely taught in American schools.

Sent by Bill Carmena 

Love And War The Romance of Bernardo and Marie Felicite By Joe Perez 

Following in the footsteps of his father and uncles, Bernardo de Gálvez rose to great prominence in the service of his king. He was a man born to lead others and driven to achieve tremendous success. With each succeeding position of authority, he strove to advance even further toward greatness. As a military man, this meant he would be called upon to lead others in times of war.

Bernardo started his military career at the tender age of sixteen when Spain was at war with Portugal. At nineteen, he came to the New World and fought against the Apache tribe in the northern part of New Spain, what is now Texas. At age twenty five, he survived an attack that left him with an arrow wound in his arm and a chest wound from an Apache lance. In 1772, having fought bravely in the New World, he returned to Spain. Already a hardened veteran at age twenty six, Bernardo sought to better himself as a military leader by enrolling in the Regiment of Cantabria, an admired military organization in France. While there for three years, he learned to speak French, which would be a factor later in his life. At twenty nine, he was wounded in battle, assigned to the Military School of Avila and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. At thirty, he was sent again to the New World as Colonel of the Louisiana Regiment in a Spanish province formerly settled by the French and populated with many French speaking citizens. A few months after his arrival, he was instructed to serve as Acting Governor of the province, duties that he assumed on January 1, 1777. 

Bernardo was a young, powerful and debonair figure who immediately won over his Spanishspeaking citizens and with his linguistic talents, charmed the French-speaking citizenry as well. One such citizen who caught his eye was a beautiful woman from a prominent French family but born in America, the lovely Marie Felicite de St. Maxent d’Estrehan. 

Marie Felicite was born into French aristocracy to one of the wealthiest families in Louisiana. Her father was Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent and her mother was Elizabeth la Roche. At age fifteen, she married Jean Baptiste Honoré d’Estrehan and had a daughter named Adelaide. The untimely death of her husband left her a widowed mother at age seventeen. Marie Felicite has been described as a sophisticated woman possessing intelligence, charm and quite the conversationalist. Bernardo de Gálvez was smitten. 

The year 1777 was indeed a banner year for Bernardo. He had become Governor of Louisiana, won over both the Spanish and French citizens and was the most beloved Governor this colony had ever seen. He also met and fell deeply in love with the woman considered at the time the most beautiful woman in all of Louisiana. 

As a new Governor, Bernardo’s tasks were tremendous in running a province, while at the same time, carrying on the mission of providing covert assistance to the American colonists in their bid for independence from England. He was already aware that Spain was considering joining France in allying with the American Colonists which he knew meant leading an army into battle. As a man well versed, well qualified and well respected in military tactics, he welcomed the opportunity to further prove himself in war. In addition to running the province, he spent a considerable amount of time designing preliminary plans to attack the British in the Floridas. But he could not take his mind off Marie Felicite. 

As prominent figures in New Orleans, Bernardo and Marie Felicite had several opportunities to become acquainted with each other at social events. There were elegant galas, stately balls, splendid dinners and grand military functions that they attended, all of which they looked forward to as a chance to see each other again. She was enamored with him and he fell completely in love with her. Her beauty, wit, elegance and charm came to possess his heart, a heart hardened in war but now helpless in love. 

After a few months of courting, Bernardo proposed to Marie Felicite and asked if she would join him on his life’s journey as his wife. She accepted and they were engaged. He made a promise that he would marry and take care of her and her daughter for the rest of his life. As a man of honor, Bernardo did not make empty promises. However, sometimes fate intervenes in a young man’s dreams. 

While planning the wedding, Bernardo became extremely ill. The severity of his illness gave him and others doubts as to whether he would live long enough to exchange matrimonial vows. Very sick and bedridden, Bernardo wondered if he would be able to fulfill his promise to his fiancée. 

As a prominent military man whose every action represented the royal crown, Bernardo was required to get permission from the king to get married. While the requisite permission was requested, it would be some time before official word was received from the royal palace. In the interim, Bernardo was near death with survival in doubt and he knew he had a promise to fulfill. Even in his grave condition, honoring his word to his betrothed was always on his mind. He was a man in love and he would defy official protocol. He would follow his heart and not the mandates of the crown. Bernardo acted as a valiant hero in an ageless love story. He would fulfill his promise to the one he loved and cheat the grim reaper before what seemed to be his imminent death. Unbeknownst to the king and to anyone but a few close friends, family and clergy, who were presumed sworn to secrecy, Bernardo married Marie Felicite in private. 

With his promise fulfilled, Bernardo was at peace and ready to accept his fate. But his fate was not death, not at that time, for his health took a different turn and he started to recover. Bernardo gradually continued to improve and, eventually, he was able to resume his duties as Governor. Notice from the king finally arrived and it was good news, permission to marry was officially granted. The public wedding was performed in Havana, Cuba in a grand display of pomp and pageantry. 

Bernardo and Marie Felicite’s first child together, Matilde, was born in 1778 in New Orleans. When Spain declared war on England, Bernardo had to leave his wife and children, the loves of his life, for war as he embarked on his Gulf Coast Campaign. 

In 1782, Bernardo and Felicite had a son, Miguel. In 1785, Bernardo succeeded his father as Viceroy of New Spain and moved with his family to Mexico City, where he and his wife became extremely popular among the citizenry. Bernardo used some of his personal fortune to begin the reconstruction of the Castle of Chapultepec and the completion of the Cathedral of Mexico. He and Marie Felicite were living idyllic lives; in love, deeply admired with a beautiful family and another child on the way. It was in this paradise that Bernardo became gravely ill and after a four month infirmity, he succumbed to his illness and died. Marie Felicite, her children and all the people of Mexico had lost a man they so deeply loved. Bernardo was only forty years old. 

L-R: Marie Felicite, Miguel, Adelaide, Matilde and Guadalupe

In 1786, just twelve days after Bernardo’s death, Marie Felicite gave birth to their daughter, Guadalupe. At the baby’s baptism, in a gesture of respect, the city government served as the child’s godparents. The adoration between Bernardo and Marie Felicite outlasted all they had been through; life and death and love and war. 

Resources: G. Roland Vela Múzquiz Bernardo de Gálvez Spanish Hero of the American Revolution, Acacia Press, 2006 John Walton Caughey, Bernardo de Gálvez in Louisiana 1776-1783, Pelican Publishing Co., 1991 (2nd printing) Robet H. Thonhoff, The Texas Connection with the American Revolution, Eakin Press, 1981

Source: La Granada  December 2014
Sent by Joe Perez 
Governor, San Antonio Chapter
Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez


The Royal House of Plantagenet  and their Descendants of New Spain By John D. Inclan
Inside of every human being are our ancestors,
Heraldry of the World

The Royal House of Plantagenet  and their Descendants of New Spain
By John D. Inclan
Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Count of Anjou & Maine m Matilda, Holy Roman Empress
Henry II, King of England m Eleanor de Poitou, Duchess of Aquitaine
Eleanor (Leonor) of England, Queen of Castile m Alfonso VIII, King of Castile
Alfonso-IX, King-of-Leon-&-Galicia m Berengaria, Infanta de Castilla
St Fernando III, King of Castile & Leon m Elizabeth (Beatriz) Hohenstaufen of Swabia


Enrique, Infante of Castile, Lord of Ecija m Mayor Rodriguez-de-Pecha
Enrique Enriquez-de-Sevilla m Estefana Ruiz-de-Zeballos
Juan Enriquez, Alguacil Mayor de Toledo m Maria Diaz-de-Haro
Violante Enriquez-de-Castilla . m. Pedro Ponce-de-Cabrera, 5th Lord Torres Cabrera
One can find the Spanish Royal connection of this couple in the book titled
“Casa de Cabrera en Cordoba. Obra Genealogica Historica” written in 1756 by el Padre Ruano, and published in 1779.
Note: Due to keeping it short and simple, I have skipped three generation.
Lope de Sousa-y-Mesa Governor of the Canary Islands m. Ines de Cabrera-y-Aguayo
Juan Alonso de  Sosa-de-Cabrera, Royal Treasurer m Ana Estrada-de-la-Caballeria, the daughter of
 Alonso de Estrada, Royal Treasurer of New Spain and Mariana Gutierrez-Flores-de-la-Caballeria

Juan Alonso (Sosa) de Estrada - Mariana de Guevara-y-Barrios the daughter of
Diego de Guevara-y-Tovar. Regidor of Mexico and  Isabel de Barrios-y-Suarez

Esteban de Sosa-Guevara m Ana de Albornoz

Francisco de Sosa-y-Albornoz m Ines de Tapia-y-Sosa

Alonso de Sosa-Albornoz m Maria-Beatriz Navarro-Rodriguez-Castano-Sosa, the daughter of
Juan II Navarro and  Maria Rodriguez-Castano-de-Sosa
Ana de Sosa-Albornoz-Navarro m Alonso de Farias-Trevino
Maria de Sosa m Vicente de Saldivar-y-Reza, Maestro de Campo
(My Paternal and Maternal Ancestors)


Richard's death at Bosworth resulted in the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England since the succession of Henry II in 1154. The last legitimate male Plantagenet, Edward, Earl of Warwick (son of Richard III's brother Clarence), was executed by Henry VII in 1499. However, a direct but illegitimate male line still exists today, with the current Duke of Beaufort.

"Inside of every human being are our ancestors, and these ancestors still live.  Today, the white man calls this DNA, but there is more than DNA. We have the ability to go inside of ourselves and learn from the ancestors. The ancestor teachings reside in the place of the center. The ancestors are waiting for us to come there so they can share the ancient teachings. It is said, 'Be still and know.' "

From " Elder's Meditation of the Day" (Nov. 5, 2014), by Ellen White Kwulasulwut, an 83-year old grandmother and an elder of the Nanaimo Nation. See also:

Sent by Val Valdez Gibbons

Heraldry of the World

Heraldry of the World is a private website which is devoted only to civic heraldry, i.e. coats of arms of cities, states, municipalities, countries etc. It also includes an attempt to make a complete catalogue of heraldic (paper based) collector's items, again with the main focus on civic heraldry. The wiki-part of the site contains at present 51,783 pages and 108,710 images, the total site has over 60.000 pages. There have been 49,134,121 pageviews since June 2010.   It is by far the largest collection of civic coats of arms ever published and still growing.
Sent by Bill Carmena

Editor Mimi: This is definitely a labor of love.  Fascinating, bits of history concerning boundary changes of countries.  You will enjoy exploring the site.


Extracted information from:  The Basque  from Wikipedia Website

Regardless of which theories are correct, it is quite possible that the Basques arrived before the Celts and likely that they are the oldest continuously surviving people inhabiting a particular location in Europe.


It is believed that they have lived in or near their present location for at least four thousand years, a relatively small group of people surviving when many others were overwhelmed by invaders.

As with the Basque language, the Basques are generally considered to be an isolated ethnic group.

The Basques are clearly a distinct ethnic group in their native region. They are culturally and especially linguistically distinct from their surrounding neighbours, and the controversial claim has often been made that they are comparably genetically distinct as well.


Traditionally, by popular culture, they are considered to be tall, muscular, high-shouldered, big ears and with a very high incidence of blond hair, fair skin and blue and grey eyes.

Although they are genetically distinctive in some ways, the Basques are still very typically west European in terms of their Mt-DNA and Y-DNA sequences, and in terms of some other genetic loci.

Before the development of modern Genetics based on DNA sequencing, Basques were noted as having the highest global apportion of Rh- blood type (35% phenotypically, 60% genetically).


Additionally Basques also have virtually no B blood type (nor the related AB group). These differences are thought to reflect their long history of isolation, along with times when the population size of the Basques was small, allowing gene frequencies to drift over time.


Basques, along with Irish, show the highest frequency of the Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup R1b in Western Europe; some 95% of native Basque men have this haplogroup.


The history of isolation reflected in gene frequencies has presumably been key to the Basque people retaining their distinctive language, while more recently arrived Indo-European languages swamped other indigenous languages that were previously spoken in western Europe.


In fact, in accordance with other genetic studies, a recent genetic piece of research from 2007 claims:

"The Spanish and Basque groups are the furthest away from other continental groups (with more diversity within the same genetic groups) which is consistent with the suggestions that the Iberian peninsula holds the most ancient West European genetic ancestry."




US Census 1850-1890 and Military Records
Chart of Cousins ~  How They Are Related 
Gleaning information from photos and family members
FamilySearch Adds More Than 125.4 Million Indexed Records/Images to the United States
How to GET Goals,  not SET Goals in 2015 by Juana Bordas
The Black Telephone

US Census 1850-1890 and Military Records Chart of Cousins ~ How They Are Related 

Editor Mimi:  This is really an outstanding website to learn how 
to make use of US census records. It is a easy to use tutorial.


How to figure out the common ancestor between two family members.

Sent by Bill Carmena


Gleaning information from photos and family members

I did not know about my roots until I traveled to Monterey, NL, Mexico to find out about my history. My mother died in Sept. 9, 2009. I had to go to her birth place to find out . 
My uncle told me the story and showed me pictures of Villa and the battles. Also he pointed out in the infamous photo of Villa and Zapata , my grandfather standing is pictured on the left hand side of Villa, seated  with Zapata.

Julia Vidales Torres told me that my grandfather was a Morse Code Decoder for Villa. "A SPY".  My grandfather would walk into the Federales communication areas and memorize the messages, and then pass them on to Villa's runners.  I have a picture of my grandfather on horse back shooting it out in Juarez, with Villa by his side....taking out the Garrison and Gen. Juan Navarro.  Villa, Madero, Pascual Orozco were there...;.and a train full of Villa's men. 
Also found out that San. Antonio Buenaventura y Olivares was my distant primo who in 1716-1720 build the Mission De known as the " The Alamo".

Sent by Pedro Olivares 

FamilySearch Adds More Than 125.4 Million Indexed Records and Images to the United States

FamilySearch has added more than 125.4 million indexed records and images to collections from the United States. Notable collection updates include the 124,060,301 indexed records from the Find A Grave Index collection; the 830,416 indexed records and images from the US, Michigan Obituaries, 1820–2006 collection; and the 497,490 images from the US, Washington, County Records, 1803–2010 collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at

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



How to GET Goals,  not SET Goals in 2015 by Juana Bordas
Start today to Make 2015 the best year of your life! 

Editor Mimi:  I decided to place Juana's suggestions under Family History, with the idea that these New Years Resolutions could be  the foundation for a keeping a journal, and perhaps propel each of us to write stories, past and present.  

Going to the health club in January can be daunting - every machine has a perspiring, "I'm gonna do it," person looking like nothing, I mean nada is going to stop him from lookin' good. How come by the time the March snow begins to thaw, you can feel the prairie wind blowing through that empty health club? What happened? All of us SET goals - but do we know how to GET goals? Here's a surefire way to achieve your New Year's resolutions in 2015. 

1. Get Your MOJO working... Start TODAY!
Get some momentum going. I started my Yoga Practice in November last year - all right. all right, now I tell you - When January came I had momentum and that kept me going!! Your goals should be something you can start RIGHT NOW - Don't wait until after that New Year's party or that holiday lull to get started! Start Today!

2. Pick something you really WANNA do The first factor in goal achievement is motivation! It has to be something you - not your mother - wants you to do. So as you sort through all the possible things you could do to improve your life in 2015 - what is it your heart's desire?  What would energize you - make your life more enjoyable? And how about Multiple PAY OFFS?

3. List Multiple Pay Offs
Last year my New Year's resolution was to work out three to four times a weeks and I did it! What kept me on that stairmaster and pumping weight? I made a list of multiple pay offs: better health, stronger body, more balance, and being "more centered," less stress, new social contacts, going to the steam room afterwards (which I love), and since I am a "senior" - increased longevity and looking good as I age - Hey, I thought I might even get a date.

Well, I didn't get a date - but my posture improved and keeping up with those twenty- and thirty-somethings makes me feel like I was still in the game. So what are the multiple pay offs for your goal? Make a list and put it on the fridge where you can see it every day. 

4. Be CLEAR and SPECIFIC about what you want to achieve.  The more specific you are about your goal - the more you will know when you have achieved the 
desired results. If you want a more fulfilling family life in 2015, what does this mean?

A weekly movie night? Going on a date with your spouse once a month? Starting a family sport (which one, when will you do this, how many times a month?) Agreeing on ways to have good family dinner conversations? (One family I know has check-ins - how was your day and what is one good thing that happened?). Committing to a special half hour with each of your children every week may be the ticket for sparking more family togetherness.

5. Measure your progress! Success builds success
When that wise Roman looked around and said "This wasn't built in a day," he was nudging us to become savvy goal-getters. Anything worthwhile takes time, effort, and persistence. You don't finish a college degree, save the down payment for a house, or get to a suave size 8 in a day! 

So how do you keep yourself "keeping on?"

Do a timeline breaking down the end results into steps you can achieve on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for achieving those results. Celebrate success!  And meanwhile remember to be realistic.

6. Be realistic...Be a Winner!
If you set a goal to lose 15 pound but lose only 10 - you haven't met your target and will not feel like a winner. It is better to set a realistic goal to lose 10 pounds and then up the ante...each time you meet your goal you will feel better and more confident!

If you want to stop working so late, pick two days when you will leave a half an hour earlier - put this in your calendar, set the alarm on your watch to go off, figure out a positive reward from doing this. Re-evaluate in a month to see how your are doing. Then up the ante... Set "STRETCH GOALS!" Ones that with effort you can achieve! Each time you achieve a goal - up the ante...

7. You Gotta Pay the Price TAG!
With every goal there are obstacles and sacrifices. Yeah, you really would like to start saving more money for the kids college education - but are you willing to not go out to eat, or not take that vacation, or stop those shopping sprees? Not so sounded like a good idea...but you weren't ready to make the sacrifices it would take.

Before you make a commitment review the price tag and be prepared for what it's gonna cost. Figure out ways to make up for sacrifices or do something new that is even better. Go on a scavenger hunt to the Goodwill Stores; spend a family vacation "discovering your town," have Italian night at home. Organize a pot luck dinner. Save money while having fun!

8. Get a Partner and tell Everybody about it... Blah blah blah
Letting people know what your goal is another way to "motivate" yourself to achieve. But be careful with this one cause once you say you are going to do it...well, you have to DO IT! Pick people who will be supportive. Ask them to check in with you in a friendly way, of course.

And while you are at it - get yourself a goal partner to keep you on track, and maybe get collateral benefits from your achievements. Want to read more and be more informed? Join a book club. Find a work-out buddy go with you to the health club. Ask a classmate to study together on a regular basis.


In Feng Shui, the Chinese practice of arranging objects to help people achieve their goals, there is a saying, "Change one thing - change everything." 
That's the ripple effect of goal setting - you will feel more in charge of your life - more powerful. And then you can achieve even greater feats! So just do it! 
What are your goals for 2015? 

Goal Achievement Studies indicate that making a public commitment increases GOAL GETTING! So look for my goals on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. 
My first goal is to use the treadmill desk I bought last year at least one hour a day. 

Join me! Make a public commitment! Post your goals on social media and then tell your friends all about it. You can post on my page at: 

The Black Telephone

When I was a young girl, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the Wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

"Information, please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No,"I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

I said I could.

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice..

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my maths.

She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, "Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Audrey , always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."

"Information," said in the now familiar voice.

"How do I spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed my friend very much.

"Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little girl.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle . I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.


I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying,

"Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"

"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle .

A different voice answered, "Information."

I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," She said. "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up, she said,

"Wait a minute, did you say your name was Audrey ?" 

"Yes." I answered.

Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. "Let me read it to you."

The note said, "Tell her there are other worlds to sing in. She'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew exactly what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today?  

Sent by Jan Mallet 


January 10th, 2015, SHHAR Monthly meeting:  Author, Alex Moreno Areyan
SHHAR Report on its 2014 Season
Thank you from John Inclan

January 10th, 2015
Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and Orange County 
Author Alex Moreno Areyan 
10 a.m. Free
FamilySearch Center, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange
Volunteers will provide genealogy research assistance from 9 -10 a.m.

Alex Moreno Areyan is a regional historian, writing about people and places. 

He is the author of three books whose focus centers on multiple aspects of the Mexican American experience.   

His first book, Mexican Americans in Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach, documents the 100 year presence and contributions of residents in both communities, describing the social and economic infrastructure of these two coastal cities in southwestern Los Angeles county.  Prior to the publication of this book, these communities were invisible or largely overlooked.  

Mexican Americans in Los Angeles was his second book. Even before the turn of the century, Mexican Americans established and nurtured the foundation, fiber and fabric of Los Angeles since the first pobladores arrived in 1781.   Pride in family, work, community, and religion coalesces into their legacy from East Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, to the port areas of Wilmington and San Pedro, California, and beyond.  The Mexican American story is embodied in the success of Congressman Edward Roybal, civic leader Dionicio Morales, Supervisor Gloria Molina, labor leader Cesar Chavez, and actors Anthony Quinn, Rita Hayworth, Katy Jurado and Carmen Zapata, who all provide inspiration. Antonio Villaraigosa, elected in 2005, was Los Angeles’ first Mexican American mayor in more than a century.  

His third book, Beach Mexican, is Mr. Areyan’s odyssey of growing up Mexican American in white, upper middle-class Redondo Beach in the 1950s.  The tale presents a story of assimilation different from that experienced by Mexican Americans in larger barrios.  The kid who was once threatened with permanent expulsion from Redondo Union High School for speaking Spanish on campus eventually received a plaque from the city of Redondo Beach for writing the Mexican American history of the city. The eight years he and his family spent as migrant farm workers in the great central valley of California are also portrayed in his odyssey.  

Mr. Areyan is a retired aerospace Human Resources administrator with a Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco.  He lives in Torrance, California, with his wife, Linda, and is the proud father of three children and two grandsons.

For more information, please contact President Letty Rodella,

SHHAR Ends Its 2014 Season  

The Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research ended an outstanding 2014 year. The monthly presentations had an average of 40 attendees and each month an exciting topic. In addition to the monthly presentations, SHHAR participated in several community events. These included the “Dia de la Familia” sponsored by the City of Westminster; the Orange County Family History Fair 2014; The CCHS Fair in San Pedro; The Mariachi Fair in Anaheim; and the “Back to the Beginnings” fair sponsored by the Heritage Museum of Orange County. SHHAR continues to provide a $100.00 gift certificate to the 
California History Day sponsored by the County Office of Education. SHHAR will continue to participate in community 
functions which promote its philosophy and goals. A special


 “Thank You” to Mimi Lozano for giving SHHAR copyrights to the 1990‐1999 Somos Primos magazines. SHHAR now has these editions on one DVD available for sale for $10.00. Another special “Thank You” goes to Viola Sadler who developed and printed our new SHHAR brochure. This brochure will be distributed at all future SHHAR functions. SHHAR is currently preparing the 2015 Calendar of Activities.If you have any questions about SHHAR, please email President Letty Rodella at 

Sincerely, Letty Rodella  
Published in California State Genealogical Alliance
Volume 32, Number 6,  November—December 2014

Thank you from John Inclan

I sincerely would like to thank the generosity that the participants gave me on my recent  November 8, 2014 SHHAR Sephardic Workshop, presentation.   Throughout my thirty years of genealogical research, my family and public have been an encouragement for me to continue my work.
Genealogy has become a very popular hobby, and as more families seek their own family history, I hope that my work has help as a “starter kit”.  May you have A Very Prosperous and Happy New Year.
Sincerely, John Inclan

Editor Mimi: Do check the many pedigees that John has compiled of some of the founding families in Northern Mexico and South Texas, nclan/inclan.htm 


Introduction to The House of Aragon by Michael Brakefort-Grant  
Ancient Colombia:  A Journey through the Cauca Valley
        Los Angeles County Museum of Art, January 31, 2015–December 31, 2015
Resurrected Histories: Voices from the Chicano Arts Collectives of Highland Park
January 14 through February 5, 2012

Introduction to 
The House of Aragon by Michael Brakefort-Grant

A crime thriller comparable to "The Godfather".

Michael Aragon’s life began in America’s East Los Angeles barrio with its unique Mexican-American Chicano culture. The barrio of the nineteen forties was a violent and impoverished island in the sea of American prosperity. Fate would tutor this young, strong, handsome man and groom him to understand that it, and not he, controlled his destiny. By the twist and turns of life, World War II and Korean Police Action made him an American hero. Later, that same country drove him to become the founder of the blood stained Mexican-American Mafia or “La Eme”. He couldn’t know what awaited him as he made his way. Aragon’s life and ultimately his death were but the beginning and ending of a fixed destiny, one he could not influence or control. He could only exist within the world which fate fashioned for him.

Those he knew best accepted life as an endless shade of gray. They understood life as a series of accommodations, compromises, as a choice of lesser of evils. Goodness was simply a word. Killing was only the elimination of another. Crime was an expedient. Power and money were simply a means to an end and that end was complete control.

The barrio priest, O’Brien, and the Catholic Church taught him to believe that what happened between the two major pillars of life, birth and death, was a stream of experiences, markers with which one could judge himself and others. The Church taught its flock to see their actions during that short span of existence through the lens of morality, with right and wrong being the instruments of judgment. The reality of life and fragility of faith became the battleground.

In the end, he remained strong. He was the wall that stood between his wife, three children, and the menacing world of drugs, prostitution, loan sharking, and all other things that tempt men’s souls. But even his strength wasn’t enough. There were many others that coveted power and money. These lived for control. Just before his death, the Colombians saw Aragon as the old, strong lion that could not be tamed. To be sure he was fearless, yet not reckless. When that pack of Colombian jackals became too many and too hungry, even he could not keep them at bay forever. He protected his pride, he killed fearlessly. He drove them from his hunting grounds. But they waited and listened from a safe distance. Only then, could the jackals hunt him down. And hunt him they did. They set their trap and killed him.

What the Columbians didn’t expect was his son’s vengeance. They saw him as weak and too American. This was their mistake and undoing. The son was like the father. Strong, honorable, and steel to the core, he would not yield what was his by right of family. But something more drove him, the absolute love of the son for the father. It was the need to right a wrong. Kenny, the blonde, blue eyed, adopted son was loved by the barrio and La Eme. He was every inch Aragon’s son.

Editor Mimi:  This is a powerful historic novel.   Michael's ability to place his characters into the changing social and economic situations draws you in emotionally, clarifying, and increasing historic insight.  His characters' behavior reflects the complexities of each character's decision as they respond to the situations in which they find themselves.  Truly, no man is an island and character is built by lifes' challenges.

If you have an I-Pad you can read the book in its fullness at

If you
do not have an I-Pad, you can read the chapters at the Somos Primos homepage, we will be adding them with Michael's chapter synopsis. Go to

Michael Brakefort-Grant is a Pen name for Michael S. Perez

January 14 through February 5, 2012

 Resurrected Histories:
Voices from the Chicano Arts Collectives of Highland Park

Curated by art historian Sybil Venegas

An archival exhibition presenting paintings, graphic art, photographs, publications and other memorabilia telling the story of the Highland Park Chicano arts collectives Mechicano and the Centro de Arte Publico during the 1970's. 

We have partnered with KCET’s Departures regarding our Highland Park art history.  This partnership allowed us to share resources with KCET, as they provided the filming for our documentary while we conducted interviews with some of the important artists.  Our project team helped to contribute to KCET’s Departures segment entitled, “Painting the Walls,” which has nine topics for your enjoyment! 

KCET’s Departures is an online interactive exploration of Los Angeles neighborhoods. Video clips, photos, and essays are available online for your enjoyment, education, and interest.  Please visit.

Virgin de Gudalupe helmet by Ignacio Gomez

We have partnered with KCET’s Departures regarding our Highland Park art history.  This partnership allowed us to share resources with KCET, as they provided the filming for our documentary while we conducted interviews with some of the important artists.  Our project team helped to contribute to KCET’s Departures segment entitled, “Painting the Walls,” which has nine topics for your enjoyment! 

KCET’s Departures is an online interactive exploration of Los Angeles neighborhoods. Video clips, photos, and essays are available online for your enjoyment, education, and interest. Please visit 50 Studio, Inc. is an arts presentation organization grounded in Latin@ Chican@ culture. We seek to build bridges of cultural understanding through artistic expressions. Using content-driven art to educate and to stimulate intercultural understanding, we build relationships and collaborations with artists and communities. Our twelve year track record of over 300 shows in the Northeast LA area has ranged from international exchange exhibits to presenting Asian and African American artists in a largely Latino community. The art openings are a testament to the mix of cultures, national origins, and races that make up metro LA and our Highland Park neighborhood. We feel the showing of multicultural arts on a monthly basis in a working class community can go a long way in educating people to the importance of diverse art in our lives. Along with this, Avenue 50 Studio is a center for cultural activities with workshops in art, spoken word and other creative forms of expression. Our community gathers around the exhibits, presentation of Latin@ Chican@ films, viagra cialis generico Italia and poetry readings. We are constantly evolving and our goal is to continue the exhibition and spoken word presentations. 

The Highland Park area of Los Angeles is an established community of long-term residents at the edges of middle class. It is primarily Latino of Mexican and Central American descent and bilingual in speech, signage and character. Avenue 50 Studio is committed to addressing the furthering of an established culture that is always evolving. Presenting the arts and artists of Mexico and Central America is at par with showcasing the arts and artists of Northeast LA and the greater Los Angeles area.
131 North Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042 
Ph/Fax: (323) 258-1435 



Ancient Colombia: 
A Journey through the Cauca Valley
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Ahmanson Building, Level 4
January 31, 2015–December 31, 2015

In spite of the popular legend of El Dorado, the conquest of Colombia never quite captured public imagination the way the conquest of Mexico or Peru did. The most valuable source of information, apart from the diverse archaeological remains, comes from Spaniards who looked beyond gold to see the marvels of the New World. Some wrote accounts, while others collected letters and reports by conquistadors for compilation into publications.

This exhibition follows the 16th century journey of Pedro Cieza de Léon, one of the most important chroniclers of the conquest, who landed on the north shore of what is now Colombia in 1533, through the Cauca River Valley. Throughout the exhibition, quotes from his descriptions are used to compare and contrast the views of 16th-century Spaniards with the insights of recent scholarship that pertain to the objects on view.

Colonial text sources convey the impression that 16th-century Colombia and its inhabitants made on the conquistadors, and in many cases the objects appear to illustrate the same world that the Spaniards described. However, recent study of the material culture and indigenous groups of Colombia reveals that the history of the people of Colombia is older and more diverse than is apparent in historical documents.

This exhibition is included in General Admission. Join now and see it free, or reserve a ticket.  Ocarina in the form of a seated lord. Colombia, Tairona, 1000-1550 CE. Ceramic. M2007.146.448. 

Sent by Pat Bautista


California Robles Family Researcher
View from the Pier by Herman Sillas 
San Ysidro: Voices and Visionaries: Rosalinda mendez Gonzalez, Ph.D.
California Association of Bilingual Education, 2015: 40th Annual Conference and Exhibit 

California Robles Family Researcher
In a message dated 12/8/2014 2:54:27 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:

Dear Mimi-
My name is Amy Leach. I am interested in receiving your newsletter, Somos Primos. I have been working on my family's genealogy for the past few years and have discovered a lot with your newsletters and other affiliated sources. The help you offer is great! My mother's family has deep roots in the Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz area and unfortunately, the true history belongs to those who haven't received that much recognition! Listening to my mom's earliest memories were not that complimentary of how they were treated. We have discovered that a lot of the spelling of names and historical info had been altered. I can only assume it had to do with the poor treatment they received almost on a daily basis. Anyway, I would be ever so grateful for your publication. 
Thank you for all you do!

Regards, Amy Leach

Sent: Dec 8, 2014 To:

Hi Amy . . . I'll be happy to sign you up to receive the monthly notification letter.

Let me also suggest that you edit your email and send along some of the families your mother is related to in California. I would publish it under California. Hopefully potentially related readers would contact you.

What do you think??
God bless, Mimi

12/9/2014 writes:

Hi Mimi-

Thanks for your reply! My mother's name is Phoebe Leach (Bothwell), born in Palo Alto CA. Her mother is Virginia Bothwell (Lopez), born also in Palo Alto CA. Her parents were Ramona Marie Rodrigues (Rogers), born in Mayfield CA and Asencion (Sencion) Lopez, born in Half Moon Bay CA. Ramona's parents were Vicente (Vincent) Rodrigues, born in Chile and Maria Ignacia Robles, born in Half Moon Bay CA. Asencion's parents were Jaun Bausta Lopez, born in Spain and Maria Ramunda Robles, born in Half Moon Bay CA. 

It looks like since Maria Ignacia and Maria Ramunda were sisters, Ramona and Asencion were 1st cousins. Maria Ignacia and Maria Ramunda's parents were Benito Robles and Francisca de Paula Josefa Rodriguez. I am quite positive on the genealogy because of other accounts from other family members, death certificates, obituaries, etc... 

My mom told us that her mother (Virginia) would tell her stories of growing up in the Santa Clara area and how difficult it was. They lived out on a farm that had little shanties for the workers. She said the rats would come up and bite her ears if she wasn't careful, when she laid down to go to sleep at night. Apparently, the conditions were deplorable. My mom said that Virginia had a hard time talking about growing up. Virginia got married at 16, had 2 kids, divorced, remarried about 10 years later and had 2 more kids, one being my mother. 

Because of the hardships she endured, she didn't pass very much family information on. She always maintained that her family ONLY came from Spain and NO where else. When I started working on our family history, I found that what she said wasn't entirely true. I have no proof of this, but I think she was embarrassed of her heritage. I think this is why no history was passed on. But I have found a lot of distant relatives who have helped me and other sources, which have been most helpful!

I am stuck on one person, in particular, though. His name is Benito Robles. I cannot find out who his parents are. I thought it was Jose Antonio Robles but I was wrong. I have been trying to go through the baptism records in the missions and I haven't found anything, as of yet. I can let you know when I find anything. I truly appreciate your help! Your site and the info you offer is wonderful! Thank you!

 Amy Leach

12/9/2014  from to

Great Amy . . .  Have you tried some of these sites.  You might consider calling some of them, particularly those which are  in your location of interest.  You could call the businesses and share your search goal.

Best Wishes, Mimi

Well folks, 

It's happened! My book "View From The Pier (stories from San Clemente)" is now available! It is a gift book consisting of "View from the Pier" articles and copies of eight of my paintings. The 112 page book is a perfect gift for yourself and folks you like. The price including tax is $15.00 plus shipping charges. For more information check my website 
This unique gift book will also be available through Amazon. 

If you purchase through my website, I will autograph the books before shipping them to you. If you want a specific dedication written on your book or books, please advise me via email at the time of purchase, and I will gladly comply with your request, before shipping. Thank you for your support and encouragement. May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Holiday Season. 

Herman Sillas

Herman Sillas

When I opened my law practice in 1960, I needed a new car. My 1952 Ford was tired of taking me every day from my parent's Southeast Los Angeles home to the Westwood campus of UCLA. A new car dealer agreed to take my Ford as down payment on a new car, if my old car's motor would start. I prayed and the old engine responded. So I drove out of the dealer's lot as a proud owner of a new 1959 white four door Chevrolet.

The next day, I took my client to court in my new car. We won a contested case and I felt proud of my victory. Upon returning to the parking lot, we saw the attorney, who had been my adversary, getting into his car. My client said, "He must be a good lawyer. Look at the car he's driving." The attorney owned a new black Cadillac. That's when I learned that my legal ability would be judged by the car I drove. No more Chevys for me. 

In 1967  at a car show I saw a new American sports car called the "Omega." It was a two door car, built close to the ground with a Ferrari body and a Ford eight cylinder engine. I fell in love with it. A year later, I had an opportunity to buy the one previously owned by Sony Bono, of Sony and Cher fame. His Omega had a silhouette of Cher painted on the outside of the cab and a four track cassette player containing their hit recording of "I Got You Babe." Now I had a car that trumped any other car for beauty and style. Everywhere I went, folks gathered to admire it and figured I was a great lawyer.

In the seventies, I got involved in politics and met Jerry Brown. He became Governor in 1974 on the platform that Californians had to be more frugal. To prove his point, he was chauffeured about in a state owned green Plymouth. When he asked me to serve as Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, I proudly accepted. Then I told Cora I would have to sell the Omega. 

"Why?" She asked.

I had a smirk on my face to remind her that I was a Political Science major and answered, "How do you think it would look, if the Governor preaches frugality and his Director of Motor Vehicles drives around in an expensive sports car? I have to look at things politically now. " 

"Why don't you just put it on blocks until you leave that position?" Cora said thinking she had solved my dilemma. 

"No," I responded. "The press may find out and then it looks like I tried to hide something. Besides as Director, I get one of the state's Plymouths to drive."

Cora just shook her head and threw up her hands. I sold my Omega for $2,500.00 before we went to Sacramento. Years later, I met a former employee of the company that had manufactured the Omega. He advised me that there were only seven built before the company went out of business. He was aware that Sony Bono had purchased one. The former employee also told me that Omegas are so rare that collectors will pay any price to get one. When I told Cora, she said with her I told you so face, "Too bad you didn't major in Economics instead of Political Science." Not wanting to be reminded of my stupidity, I don't mention the Omega to Cora anymore. We drive around in our seventeen year old car. My long time clients don't care what kind of car I drive and at my age, I'm just grateful that I can still drive. That's the view from the pier.

“San Ysidro:  Voices and Visionaries”

Rosalinda Mendez Gonzalez, Ph.D.

This article (c. 1995) was originally prepared as a research project for the California Council for the Humanities “Searching for San Diego II” Project in 1994-1995.   A shortened version of this paper was published in the CCH 1995 publication Searching for San Diego II, A Journey Through Four San Diego Neighborhoods, under the editorship of Ralph Lewin. Rosalinda Mendez Gonzalez is a Professor Emeritus of  Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, California 91910.  (619) 421-6570  

The community of San Ysidro is today a part of the City of San Diego, California.  It was incorporated by San Diego in 1957 with the foresight of providing the port city of San Diego a direct land connection to Mexico and a stake in the international trade that flows across the United States-Mexico border through San Ysidro. 

San Ysidro received its name from a visionary group of people who came to settle in the valley in 1909, founding an agricultural colony called "Little Landers."   Dedicated to the principle of growing their own food, they christened their community with the name of the patron saint of farmers, Isidro, "a virtuous farmer who had fallen asleep and had his fields plowed for him by angels." [1]

San Ysidro was once part of a land grant given by the Mexican government to Don Santiago Arguello in 1828.  The "Rancho de Tia Juana" was soon threatened by the expansionist aspirations of the United States .  In its drive to acquire the rich lands of California and ports on the Pacific Ocean to link it with Asia , the United States waged war against Mexico in 1846.  The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war in 1848, required Mexico to give up Alta California to the United States , and the San Diego region passed into the waiting arms of the United States .

Today San Ysidro still looms large in the dreams of many people.  Immigrants "without papers" fleeing the U.S. border patrol ask breathlessly when they come across if they have arrived--if they have crossed "la linea" and entered the land of milk and honey.  For long-time San Ysidro residents, who love their community and live, feel and appreciate the social relations that make up their community, their vision of San Ysidro goes beyond the limitations that some outsiders myopically focus on.  In the words of (the late) Doug Perry, "the heart of the community is an uncut gem." (2)

The sense of community and history of San Ysidro is best told through the voices and visions of the people who have made it their home and have left their mark on it.   We offer here but a few reflections of the multi-faceted history and character of the people of San Ysidro.

Arrival: First Visions and Dreams

Long before California was even a myth or a dream in the imagination of the Spaniards, the area that is today San Ysidro was inhabited by Kumeyaay Indian clans. They held communal ownership of land and lived in an environment that rewarded them with a rich supply of food.  Respect, ritual, and spirituality guided their lives and social relations.  Mountain-tops were sacred to them.  In the words of their descendents, "'They are our cathedrals of worship," ... 'We go there to pray.' " (3)  In their fasts and sweats on the mountaintops, people's prayers for guidance were sometimes rewarded by visions.  The region that is San Ysidro is bordered by foothills and mountains.  It is very possible that the decision of the earliest arrivals to settle in San Ysidro was guided by such a vision.   

The first recorded descriptions we have are from the Spanish expeditionaries who came through in 1769 on their way to the bay of San Diego .  Father Serra's passage was to foreshadow the way in which many immigrants today arrive at San Ysidro.  He first entered the region through an area now known as Smuggler's Gulch.  His party was led through the gullies by guides, and his description reads like it could have been the thoughts and words of the many undocumented immigrants who are led through those gullies across the border into the United States today:

‘We started early, and the first thing was to cross the ravine and climb up the opposite hillside.  After a few ups and downs we saw a wondrous sight -- a measureless plain stretching out before us over which our footsteps had to tread.  The hills we left on our right. . . .  But the ravines we had to cross were . . . quite numerous, without any possibility of avoiding them or flanking them -- they are all alike coming straight out from the mountains. . . .  I summoned up all my courage -- because you were no sooner out of one ravine than you were into another, and each one was dangerous.  At one time I asked the guides:  “Is this the last one?”  “There are plenty more to come,” was their answer....’ (4)  

In this beautiful land that Serra had arrived at, there were "many willows, poplar and sycamore trees along the river banks, wild grapes grew in profusion, there were plenty of acorns and wild asparagus, and game seemed abundant." (5)  One hundred and forty years later, the founders of the San Ysidro Little Landers Colony would encounter a similar environment:  "The colony lands, starting with the foothills that bounded the northern side of the valley sloped gradually across a mesa and down to the alluvial bottom lands of the lower valley...  valued for their rich fertile soil and for the stream of water which underlay them and assured success for the colony." (6)

By now, the original settlers had been dispossessed:  the Kumeyaay no longer lived amidst their cornucopia.  They had been transformed into a labor force for the Spanish-Mexican ranchers who had been "granted" the California Indians' lands.  In their turn, the Spanish-Mexican ranchers had been supplanted by incoming Anglo-American settlers in the nineteenth century.  And now, in the early 20th century, the new arrivals came with their own vision for their San Ysidro colony.   Little Landers Founder William Smythe described the high ideals of brotherly love and the fullest development of human potential he held for the cooperative farming venture he founded.  He foresaw the colonist as:  "a man who... is a scientist... an artist. ... a man with initiative. ... He is an independent, self-employing man.  To his trees, his plants, and his vines he gives the ineffable touch of love.  He is the spiritual man of the soil." (7)

Smythe's idealism was reflected in the colony's symbol: a flag bearing a white star on a field of blue, the "star of hope."  The Little Landers dream was undermined with the flood of 1916, but it left national repercussions:  the colony helped inspire other utopian agrarian experiments in other parts of the United States. 

Throughout the following decades, San Ysidro continued to attract people.  Doug Perry, who arrived in San Ysidro in 1979, described his experience upon first seeing San Ysidro:  " I came down that one time and I saw the hills and got off and went up to the hills and looked down on San Ysidro and the valley and that was it, I was sold. ... I made that trip and between the hills and the valley I thought, this is it for me."   

The Circle of Community

          "San a different feeling ...  in the way that people live and the way the community is . . . . This community is still a little community.  It has an alma (soul), and it has a corazon (heart)."  (A. Skorepa)  

One of the first interviews we gathered was from Mr. Edward M. Cuen, whose parents came to San Ysidro in 1929.  He describes what it was like growing up in San Ysidro:   "San Ysidro was a beautiful community.  I think I knew everybody in town then. ... It was just farmland, and a lot of people had cows, goats, horses, chickens."

Between 1929 and 1969, many things changed in San Ysidro; but the strong sense of community remained.  Lydia Armenia Beltran, who arrived in 1969, describes her reception:

"It was a very beautiful community.  We found people ...  who were very much involved with the community.  They ...told us what was going on and they said that if we worked hard and involved ourselves . . .  the community would be that much better off.  ...  A little girl . . . who's now my goddaughter... came out and welcomed me and took me over to her house....  My neighbors became all my compadres.... Everybody's compadre here."  

            (The late) Joyce Hettich, long-time San Ysidro resident and considered its unofficial historian, remarked about inter-ethnic relations in San Ysidro:  "My experience of 49 years in San Ysidro is that we have all gotten along just fine."   In describing relations between the Community Church and the Catholic Church, she explained how the churches would help each other out:  The Community Church minister would say to his congregation – “go over today to the Catholic Church--they're having a fundraising drive.”  When the Community Church was having a drive, the Catholic Church pastor would say, "Go over to the Community Church today, they're having a drive."

Today San Ysidro is a predominantly Latino community.  Mexican music is heard, and Spanish is the principal language spoken.  Yet San Ysidro contains an ethnic and cultural representation that many people are not aware of.   It is a community that has undergone major demographic change, particularly since the 1950s and 1960s.  Andrea Skorepa observes that the community has "become a lot more predominantly Latino, but we've also had an emerging African-American community . . . we've gotten an influx of African-Americans, Pacific Islanders, especially Filipino."

Steven Andrew Gomez describes his own family's background and social-cultural activities: 

Me myself, being Mexican Indian, Tohno-O'odam, Yaqui and Papago, that's who I relate to more.... Our entertainment is Pow-wows. The Gathering of the people.  These are my ways.  Singing [in ceremonial drums] is another way.  I attend, not a church, but a circle of friends, a Native American sweat lodge, which is our church.  

San Ysidro is also home to an ancient equestrian tradition going back to the Moorish days in Spain and to the Spanish-Mexican frontier days:  the Charreada, a form of rodeo, with elaborate dress, highly skilled horsemanship and beautiful lasso techniques performed by both male "charros" and female "escaramuzas".  The Lopez brothers of San Ysidro were involved in forming an association of charros.  Their charreadas drew people from as far away as Los Angeles and as far south as Rosarito in Baja California.  Nicolas Lopez describes how they began:  

[Translation:] "In 1973 we formed . . . the Association of charros of San Ysidro . . .  My brother and I and about 20 friends
          and companions . . .  The first events were gatherings in the countryside with our wives, it was all open fields.  Each
          one of us began to buy a pony and to saddle and teach ourselves how to ride . . . then later we formed our alliance with
          donations, with events that we programmed, dances . . . .  We held many charreadas here.  Charros would come from
          Los Angeles, from Tijuana, from Rosarito, from Escondido, from Vista, from Encinitas." 8

This proximity to the border, which drew people from above and below the border, has been an important element in the life of San Ysidro, just as its proximity to the ocean and the salt beds once attracted Indian peoples from as far away as present-day Sonora and Arizona.

The Influence of the Border

                            " Para mi no hay frontera".   [“For me there is no border.”]   Mary Valdez 
                            "I see no lines. Those lines, those fences, were brought to us.   
                                        I recognize no  borders.  I see no borders." Steven Andrew Gomez  

From its very early history, the economic life of people in San Ysidro was very closely linked with Tijuana, Mexico.  In fact, before its annexation by the City of San Diego , San Ysidro was known as "The Gateway to the Americas ".  Mr. Edward Cuen, whose father owned the San Ysidro Feed and Grain store since 1929, experienced the very close interconnection between San Ysidro and Tijuana .  His father, Joe Cuen, supplied most of the racetrack and feed stores across the border.  How close the relationship was became clearer when Mexico outlawed gambling in 1935:

... when Johnny Alessio closed down the racetrack, ...  the racetrack owners or the trainers [moved out]. ... Economically, it hurt [people] here a lot, because they were so dependent on the racetrack to make money.  

The closing down of the racetrack brought a demographic change to San Ysidro: as Anglo trainers and horse owners moved out, their homes were bought up by families from Mexico who then moved to San Ysidro.   They retained very close ties to Mexico .  Lydia Armenia-Beltran who moved to San Ysidro from Tijuana in 1969, described how they were able to go to Tijuana for tortillas before dinner.  When asked what it meant to have a border, she replied:

 "I'll tell you, it's been here all the time so I wouldn't know what it would be without a border.  I really couldn't envision that.  But I feel like we have one community between Tijuana and San Diego .  I don't even think we can survive, one without the other.  If you ask me I think we need Tijuana a lot more than Tijuana needs us, economically." 

The existence of the border has brought wave after wave of migrations through San Ysidro, legally and illegally.  Residents accept the painful reality of witnessing this human ordeal of migration driven by necessity, although some are angered by the intimidating presence of the Border Patrol on their streets and by the militarization of the border.   Doug Perry commented, " Mexico is the doorway to this part of North America ."  And San Ysidro is the threshold.  


          "It is a testament to the character and fiber of the people of San Ysidro . . . that the community has survived. . . . It has
          been split asunder with highways, . . . is the arena for the apprechension . . . illegal immigrants. . . .  Its economy
          reacts  not only to the events in the United States, but also to the rise and fall of the peso."  Adelante, San Ysidro!

San Ysidro is today [1995] the largest port of entry in the world in terms of volume of traffic.  Because of its location, it has experienced more changes than a small community might normally experience.  Not all of its transitions have been beneficial.  Margaret Lashlee recalls:

When I first arrived [in 1945] this was a community, a cohesive community.  Everybody knew everybody else.  ... It didn't make any difference to the people down here whether they had money, they didn't know they were poor.  ...  Their doors were open and if they had food they shared it with you, it was that kind of a community.  

            But very disruptive processes followed in the 1950s and 1960s: the struggle over incorporation of San Ysidro by the City of San Diego, which split the community politically, and the building of the freeways, which split the community physically, destroying and uprooting a significant part of the San Ysidro community.  The freeways were put in without approval or consultation with the community, with very disruptive consequences.  Edward Cuen recalls,

"The freeway really made the major change. ... It took my Dad's store.  It took the plumber's.  It took about two bars in town. ... It hurt a lot of people, the freeway did. ... A lot of people moved out, and a lot of stores moved out, and it just ruined the community."

             Many of the bulldozed businesses never returned, and others were replaced by corporate chain stores.  With annexation by the City of San Diego in 1957, San Ysidro was deprived of its own decision-making power.  Many small businessmen are experiencing great difficulties with the City's decisions and regulations, which they feel fosters big business at the expense of the small businessman. 

At the same time, the City's decision to allow the building of housing projects and apartment complexes in the San Ysidro community without providing the needed social support, has created new problems.  Yet these changes have brought some good in their wake. 

One of the most dramatic and painful events that has affected San Ysidro was the MacDonald's massacre that occurred in 1984 when a disturbed man killed 21 people, men, women and children, and left 19 others wounded.  This tragic event left people with a greater sense of reverence for life.  Steven Gomez comments:

The massacre at San Ysidro...affected the whole community.  ... A lot of people as a whole at that site unwillingly gave their lives, their lives were taken. So to me that is a very, very special place.  And to a lot of other people.  

On the former site of the MacDonald's, a satellite campus of Southwestern College was built to bring higher education into San Ysidro.  Lydia Armena-Beltran notes:  "One of the best changes is Southwestern College .  Now we have a school that we can relate to....  It is important...."


Building Community

      "When I was about 5 years old, the Sunday paper would come...I'd get the home section: 'This is the house I'm gonna build.' ... Well I got married . . . I started drawing plans. ... I always remember Jesus saying, 'Upon this rock I will build my home.'  And when I drew my plans, it took me six months, because I was turning it, from the rain, and the wind, and the sun... I would come up here, and study the elements.  And then I put all the bedrooms to where we would wake up with the sun, the dining room where we could have dinner with the sun setting on the beach.  And when it rains, it never rains on the front door.  I took a reading of the weather for a year before I built the house."  (Edward Cuen describing the dream, the thought, the loving attention to detail that went into the building of his home.)  

In a community, one sees the physical appearances, but often hidden from us are the dreams and visions that inspired and guided people in the building of their community and their lives.  The process of building a home, the process of building a business, the process of creating a community organization, all contribute to the building of a community. 

In San Ysidro, one of the landmarks is the "Hermanos Lopez" establishment that began as a small market and a wholesale outlet, serving the San Ysidro and Tijuana communities.  Nicolas Lopez credits the building of his family's business to the wisdom and the vision of his grandmother and his father:  

 [Translation:]  "My grandmother I believe is the one who initiated the idea for this business with my father and my uncles,
          because she was a woman who . . . fought hard to make a living . . . .  She taught my father to do business, to prepare
          foods . . . to make tortillas beginning with [making] nixtamal [milled corn ground for dough] . . . my father learned to do
         all that, and he marketed it all . . . . Our firm has for many years provided jobs for many families;  from this enterprise
         many of our families have earned our livelihood, and I would like for this to be an acknowledgement of my father,
         Leopoldo Lopez Barracamontes, because he had the vision to begin by establishing a small business and to guide and
         keep us united so that we could go forward with our firm, the Lopez Brothers [Los Hermanos Lopez]." 9

The process of building San Ysidro's community has also come out of the organizational efforts of its residents.  Alicia Serrano Valadez was involved in the formation of the Mother's Club of San Ysidro, whose members worked to bring the health clinic to San Ysidro:

In 1966 we formed the Mother's Club of San Ysidro, all Mexican women with young children. ... The idea was to get together and get to know each other better.  We first met in different people's houses,then we got together with the YWCA... One of the accomplishments of the club was the establishment of a health clinic locally.  There were doctors who would come to people's houses or to our meetings, and then [we]... wrote a letter which we sent to Mercy [Hospital], ... and we asked them for a clinic here in San Ysidro. ...  

From this experience they learned and they continued to work for change.  Theirs is part of a broader political awakening that has been occurring in the community.  One indication is the massive voter registration drive that has occurred in the last few years that has changed the number of people voting from forty to twelve hundred. 

Part of the process of community building in San Ysidro occurs through avenues like Casa Familiar.  Started 24 years ago, it offers counselling, direct social services, promotes civic and community development, works with juveniles and their parents, has a dropout prevention program, BRAVO, that works with kindergarten through third grade students and their parents, has an institute for parents and a recreation center for the youth.    

Visions for the Future

            One of the last questions we asked people was what they saw as the future of San Ysidro, and what they would change in their community.  The answers focused on the need for a change in consciousness, for political involvement to resolve the problems of the community, and on the importance of education and of the children.   Steven Andrew Gomez told  us:

What can I change in my community? ... A spark to ignite the community.  Like a spontaneous combustion that would set aflame the people.  Let them know the truth. .. so that new growth appears. ... Now that the Chicano community, and the Black community,  and the Indian community, are realizing that education is the only way, to strive to make a better life.


How does one define a community?  Perhaps the answer is to be found in a response Lydia Armenia-Beltran gave when asked about what she would identify as San Ysidro's landmarks:

"Well you know that's a difficult question because I would probably point more at people than places. ...   I think the park would definitely be a place that I would show people.   Yet I would have to explain what I mean by the park because when you go there all you see is a tiny piece of grass that maybe is not even kept well, but to us it means a lot.  The San Ysidro Park, and the Recreation building that has held most of our celebrations... it's a very special place for us.  I think the strength of it is just that so many people have been happy there and have had beautiful memories there."

1. "A Brief Synopsis of San Ysidro's History with a Chronology of the Town's Most Important Events" by Richard Griswold del Castillo.   This article and several others written and researched by Professor Griswold del Castillo's students in the early 1980s were published in mimeograph:  "The San Ysidro Community History Project" Edited by Richard Griswold del Castillo, Professor of Mexican American Studies, San Diego State University .  A copy of this booklet is in the San Ysidro Public Library.  

2.  Interview with Doug Perry conducted by Rosalinda M. Gonzalez, San Ysidro Senior Center, 1994.  This and the following interviews used in the writing of this essay were carried out by Professor Gonzalez and Research Assistants Yolanda James and Maribel Castaneda with San Ysidro residents in 1994 as part of a California Council of the Humanities Grant, "Searching for San Diego II" under the direction of Ralph Lewin.  In addition to Doug Perry, we conducted interviews with Lydia Armenia Beltran, Edward M. Cuen, Steven Andrew Gomez, Klaudia Gomez and Paloma Gomez, Joyce Hettich, Margaret Lashlee,  Nicolas Lopez, Francisco Salazar, Andrea Skorepa, Alicia Serrano Valadez.  

3. "The Indians Before Invasion," Robert Cupeno, in The Missions of California, A Legacy of Genocide, by Rupert Costo and Jeannette Henry Costo, Eds., c. 1987, Published by The Indian Historian Press for the American Indian Historical Society  

4. "Expeditions by Land" pages 115 to 125.  
5. "Expeditions by Land."  
6. The Little Landers Colony of San Ysidro, by Lawrence B. Lee, Xerox University Microfilms  
7.  The Little Landers Colony of San Ysidro.  

8. [1] “En el '73 formamos... la Asociacion de Charros de San Ysidro... Nosotros, mi hermano y yo y como 20 companeros.  . . . Los primeros eventos fueron reuniones en el campo con las esposas, habia puro campo abierto.   Empezamos a comprar cada quien un caballito y a encillarlo y a ensenarnos a montar.... y luego construimos nuestro lienzo con donativos, con eventos que haciamos, bailes,.... Aqui habia muchas charreadas.  Venian  charros de Los Angeles, de Tijuana, de Rosarito, de Escondido, de Vista, de Encinitas  Interview with Nicholas Lopez (see Note 2)  

9. [1]  “Mi abuela, yo creo que inicio la idea del comercio con mi papa y con mis tios, porque ella era una mujer que ... luchaba mucho por la vida...  Enseno a mi papa a comerciar, a elaborar comidas, ...a hacer tortillas desde el nixtamal, ... porque el sabia hacer eso, y lo comercio todo.... Nuestra empresa le ha dado por muchos anos trabajo a muchas familias, de esta empresa hemos vivido muchas familias, y quisiera que el reconocimiento de esto fuera a mi papa, Leopoldo Lopez Barracamontes, porque el tuvo la vision de establecer primero un negocito y guiarnos y mantenernos unidos para poder seguir adelante con nuestra empresa Hermanos Lopez.”   Interview with Nicholas Lopez (see Note 2)

 Other sources consulted:
"Welcome to San Ysidro" by Neal Matthews, Reader Vol. 10, No. 35, Sept. 3 1981 .
 " Adelante! San Ysidro" R/UDAT, A Program of the American Institute of Architects,         March 1987
"Every Man An Acre ! Every Man A King! San Ysidro's Little Landers", Bill Manson, Reader  10/6/94
San Ysidro Public Library, Extension Division, "Community Profile," San Ysidro Branch
"10 Years Later: San Ysidro Education Center is a Living Memorial", Southwestern College Messenger, Fall 1994
California Utopian Colonies, 1850-1950

Additional materials, maps and information provided by Doug Perry and by Florence Shipek.                                                                                    


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and be a part of our changing world. 

  Magdaleno Rose-Avila

I am happy to invite you all to visit my new site created by my good friend Antonio. He has captured the essence of my works as an activist. He uses his creative talents to help our world move toward a brighter future. His company Antonio Melendez Productions has been a key part in filming videos, writing music and capturing photos of the Oregon Right2know Campaign. Visit his site for more info on his skills: 

My site will be updated regularly with fresh content from the life of an activist. I will also be sharing insights, music, poetry and videos from others in our community. Its a joy to be an active member of our world and I encourage you to Activate your Life!

Thank you for your continued support and please take a minute and visit my new site!  

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They walk into a hole, what they see is mind-blowing by Todd Briscoe
Introduction to: Purgatory in Palomas...Marjorie Lilly in Desert Exposure
CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act. 
The Kings and Queens of the Duke City Taco Truck Boom
Maria Conchita Marquez de Lucero and husband John Lucero Honored

Mexican American Studies On Trial
Raza de Oro-Vaquero My people are taught by Misael Chico Ramirez? 



They walk into a hole, what they see is mind-blowing by Todd Briscoe

"A man who wants to spend all of his time inside a dark cave with only a dog for company may sound like an ominous, strange person, but artist Ra Paulette has an artistic vision for these caves that will truly astound you."
Editor Mimi: Do read and view the video of an amazing accomplishment by one man, of turning caves into works of art.     
Happily, a documentary was created to share the passion and accomplishment of Ra Paulette, the man turned artist.  Don't miss this, you will be pleased that you stopped a moment and viewed it. 
Sent by Oscar Ramirez

Introduction to: Purgatory in Palomas...Marjorie Lilly in Desert Exposure
Interviewing deportees from the US stuck in a town of broken hearts.

I stopped at a house in Palomas where dozens of second-hand shirts, dresses and jackets were hung on a wrought-iron fence for sale. A good-looking, 30-ish man who spoke English without an accent came out.

He was a deportee from Colorado, where he had married an American citizen. But he never got his US citizenship papers because, as he said a little wryly, "I didn't want people to think I got married so I could get citizenship. A lot of people do that, you know."

As if trying not to feel sorry for himself, he said, "My 11-year-old daughter can get my papers for me when she's 20."

A job as a manager with fruit growers waited for him in Nuevo Casas Grandes, where he was headed in a few days.


Before his controversial decision last month to defer deportation for more than 4 million people, President Barack Obama removed a record 438,421 illegal immigrants in 2013 and returned them to their home countries, especially Mexico. Over the last decade fewer than half of the deportees from the US (sometimes close to a third) were apprehended for a criminal offense. In Palomas, the majority of those I happened to speak to had committed a crime.

Palomas is full of deportees, and has been for years. In the US some of them have earned something like $20 an hour in construction, and many others have earned $50 a day in the fields or in some other job. When they come back to Mexico they're reduced to a $12-a-day job, when there's work. The streets of Palomas are strewn with broken hearts.

One of the major problems that the American Civil Liberties Union focuses on in its publications is the broken families that result from deportations. This is always going to be an issue with immigration, but the number of those deported without their family has increased, not decreased, in recent years. The border mangles the family structure.

Whenever someone is deported, they forfeit the Social Security benefits they've accrued over years or decades, even though they've contributed substantially to the Social Security system.

The following interviews with four deportees in Palomas will give a better picture of what is going on than any statistics that could be quoted.

Editor Mimi:
Very touching insightful interviews.  Do take the time to read their words.

CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act. 
By Miriam Davidson

Ginny Creager was given little instruction in how to care for husband Scott’s wound after surgery. 
Photo by Chris Hinkle

Nine months after her husband received a pacemaker, Ginny Correa Creager was horrified one day in 2012 to see wires protruding from an oozing wound in his chest.  After Scott Creager, now 86, had emergency surgery to install another pacemaker, Ginny, then 71, of Litchfield Park, was given a box of medical supplies and told it was her job to keep the cavity that was left by the first device from getting infected.  “They wanted to tell me in five minutes how to care for this gaping wound,” she said. “It’s not like changing a bandage. I said, ‘I have a Ph.D., but it’s not in nursing.’?”

Ginny Creager, a retired educator, is one of about 1.3 million Arizonans serving as long-term caregivers to loved ones.
According to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute study, these family caregivers provide an estimated $9.4 billion a year in unpaid services.

AARP Arizona is responding to these concerns by making caregivers a top legislative priority in 2015.
Arizona is one of several states where advocates are working to enact legislation called the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act. The measure would require hospitals to provide training for family caregivers, giving them the skills they need to help reduce costly hospital readmissions.

The CARE Act would:
Allow patients to designate their caregivers when they are admitted to a hospital.
Require the hospital to notify the family caregiver before the patient is discharged or transferred.
Require the hospital to provide an explanation and live instruction of medical tasks—including medication management, injections, wound care and transfers, such as from a bed to a wheelchair—to family caregivers, about half of whom perform such tasks at home.

Creager, who learned to tend to her husband’s wound from a doctor friend and a home health care nurse, said she could have benefited from the CARE Act.

“People should not have to face this stuff all by themselves,” she said.
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association has not taken a position on the legislation.
Demand for in-home care

The growth of Arizona’s older population—by 2030, more than one-quarter of residents will be 60 or older—is also expected to increase demand for paid in-home care. Arizona is one of about two dozen states that do not require a license to provide nonmedical home care.

“If you get your nails done or get a haircut, those people are more regulated than many home care people who come to your house, close the door and they’re in there with Mom,” said Steve Jennings, AARP Arizona associate state director for advocacy.
AARP Arizona supports proposals to set standards among home health care providers, he said. It particularly supports “nurse delegation” provisions allowing trained, paid caregivers to administer treatments like oral medication and eyedrops.
Other priorities for the session that starts Jan. 12 include:

Advocating for utility consumers before the Arizona Corporation Commission to ensure companies properly file and prove their cases before raising rates.

Working against predatory lending practices through enforcement of interest-rate limits as well as ensuring reasonable terms and borrower protections for auto-title loans.

Supporting public and private pension plans to ensure that older Arizonans have the income and services they need for retirement.
AARP advocates play an important part in protecting and caring for Arizonans 50 and older, said longtime volunteer Leonard Kirschner, 78, a medical doctor from Litchfield Park who advocates on Medicare and Medicaid issues.

“The role of advocates is to inform government officials what the people they represent really want,” he said.
Volunteer advocates are always welcome; contact AARP Arizona at 866-389-5649 toll-free or at
Miriam Davidson is a writer living in Tucson, Ariz.

- See more at: 
Sent by Ginny Creager

Frontera NorteSur's Editor Note: We are proud to announce the beginning of a new series of articles written by NMSU students. In what we hope will be a permanent addition to our news service, FNS will feature occasional articles on different themes and issues relating to the borderland, immigration, health and a host of other issues. Today’s story is a fascinating culinary and business journey into the booming world of immigrant taco truck owners in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The author is Nicolás Cabrera, NMSU graduate student in Spanish and a Spanish high school teacher in Albuquerque.

December 5, 2014  NMSU Student Series

The Kings and Queens of the Duke City Taco Truck Boom

As the neon lights from motels on Central Avenue go dark, the lights and smells from taco trucks are slowly moving in to take their place. A taco truck boom has been taking place in Albuquerque for over a decade now as immigrant entrepreneurs bring the flavors of their home countries via mobile food units to hungry customers.

Mobile food units, popularly called taco trucks because many of them specialize in Mexican-style tacos, are kitchens on wheels. Customers order an array of food options from the trucks that are then prepared on the spot. If tables and chairs are provided, customers can eat there but food is typically packaged for take away to be consumed in vehicles or at home.

Carlos Sánchez is the owner of Sánchez Tacos and has been in business for ten years now in front of the Fair-N-Square supermarket on Central Avenue. Business has been booming for him and recently his fifth taco truck opened for business near Griegos Road and 4th Street in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

“The key to success in this business is preparing everything fresh. If I invest $100 today, I’ll make it back tonight,” he says in the interior of his shiny, new $73,000 taco truck. “We make everything here on the spot and that’s what our customers expect.”

Alma Cisneros is a customer who was picking up tacos de barbacoa and agrees. “The fresh ingredients are important even if I’m just picking up a quick last minute meal,” she said.

Sánchez, who came from Mexico to Albuquerque via California, noticed during a visit here that there were no taco trucks despite a sizeable Hispanic population. So, he decided to take a big business risk and start one to meet the demand for the taste and flavors of his home country. After a rough start, he now oversees five taco trucks across the city every night, seven days a week, and puts in long hours like many other mobile food vendors across the city.

“During the week we open at 5:00 pm and in the winter we close at midnight and at 1:00 am in the summer,” said Sánchez. “On the weekends we open at 3:00 pm and we close at 3:00 am. But if I still have a line at 3:00 am, I’ll stay open and continue selling.”

Street vendors can be found throughout the city on a given day or night, but they can be most easily found clustered along Central Avenue, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. There are relatively few restrictions imposed by the city on where they can operate. The mobile food vendors must have permission from the owner to operate if they are on private property. If they are operating in a public area, like a park, it has to be in a safe place and they have to get permission from the city’s parks and recreation department. Lorie Stoller, the Environmental Health Manager at the City of Albuquerque, says that there are no restrictions on hours of operation.

Across town near 98th Street and I-40, Antonia Puentes and her sister are entrepreneurs from Durango, Mexico. With the help of some other family members, they run Sabor México from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week. While their mobile food unit may have different business hours and a different set of customers, they offer the same basic menu of Mexican food.
“We serve typical Mexican quesadillas, tacos, and tortas such as adobada, al pastor, asada, barbacoa, buche, carnitas, chicken, and tripitas,” she said over the sounds of semi-trucks and freeway traffic. “A lot of our customers are truckers and tourists. About half of them are American and half are Mexican.”

For over four years she has run Sabor México in a dirt lot near this intersection because of its high traffic volume. But lots of automobiles whizzing by doesn’t always translate to lots of taco orders. Like many others in this business, her entrepreneurial pursuit has had its ups and downs. When she first started, business was booming with lots of truckers and tourists, but then the economy fell into recession and it hurt her profits.

“Last year was a tough year but this year has been better,” she said. “But the economy is always a big factor on how we’ll do.”

Like many other small business owners, Puentes has a dream. The goal for her fledgling business is to upgrade from a simple taco truck to a full-fledged taquería, a restaurant that specializes in Mexican tacos. She says this side of town needs a Mexican restaurant that serves authentic tacos.

But tacos aren’t the only items for sale at taco trucks. Sánchez Tacos, for example, keeps their menu simple with four Mexican foods: quesadillas, tacos, burritos and tortas, a type of hot Mexican sandwich. There are taco trucks around the city that sell other items, such as menudo, pozole, gorditas, enchiladas, hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, and countless other dishes. The taco trucks also carry an assortment of beverages that hail from the country of origin, such as Mexican Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Jarritos soft drinks. In the summer some also sell aguas frescas. These are traditional Mexican sweet beverages with flavors such as horchata, tamarindo, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon, and many others.

But more there’s more than Mexican food for sale. Cecelia García, a city environmental health specialist that conducts inspections on the west side, says she’s seen a wide variety of foods that mobile food units prepare.

“In my area predominately it’s going to be Mexican food,” she said. “There are some other really interesting trucks throughout the city. Also in my area we do the trucks for the movie industry. It’s much different and very eclectic.”

The mobility that the trucks offer allows them to sell food at special events, in addition to their day-to-day operations. Stoller said, “For the larger functions such as Summerfest or the Albuquerque birthday celebration and church fiestas, sometimes its just easier for the food vendors to use mobile trucks rather than the booth situation. It’s just easier and safer, so they’re getting that business as well.”

Twice a year García inspects the units and the commissaries where wares and food are stored. People should not be afraid to eat from taco trucks because each one has to meet the same health and safety codes as restaurants. The city has taken steps to promote and support mobile food units and their owners. According to Stoller and García, their office wants to help these entrepreneurs to succeed. They offer trainings in both English and Spanish to new and current owners. Their office has also written a guide to permitting to help new business owners get started. In addition, the Mayor’s Office also sponsors the Truck Tuesdays initiative at Civic Plaza where mobile vendors can sell their food to downtown workers and tap into new customers.

Support from the city and demand from the public has given Albuquerque a steady increase in mobile food permits over the last few years. According to the city’s Environmental Health Department, in December 2011 the city had 97 active permits for mobile food units and as of November 2014, there were 113 such permits.

As successful as the taco truck boom has been in Albuquerque, like all entrepreneurs, these immigrants are taking risks when they go into business. The business risk is highlighted by the fact that profit margins can be thin and vary day to day. Puentes said that in this economic downturn, on a good day she can earn about $400 and on bad days she’s lucky to break $100.

“One never knows,” she said. “It always varies and even if you don’t make any sales you have to pay your employees. Sometimes the passion is what keeps you going because there’s no money in it as an owner. And owners have to work day and night if they want to come out ahead.”

Sánchez also recalled how his first year was tough and that he almost had to close shop. But things started to take off when he found the right location and established a base of loyal customers. According to the taquero, 99% of his customers are Mexican and this has translated to steady sales and some customers buying supper from him two or three times a week.

Part of the charm of taco trucks for many immigrant families is finding the flavors from home in New Mexico. Elizabeth Castillo and her husband take their children to eat from taco trucks regularly.

“We like that taco trucks are fast and convenient,” she said. “They make us think of Mexico and are a taste of home here in Albuquerque. I especially like it when I eat tacos al pastor, which are my favorite.”

When customers such as the Castillo and Cisneros families are buying from mobile food units, they are maintaining the street food culture that is widespread in many countries, especially in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.  Cisneros said, “Taco trucks make me think of Chihuahua, my dad’s home.”

Throughout Mexico, for example, it is not uncommon to find taco trucks open every night of the week well past midnight selling freshly made food.

Sometimes those late-night hours can be dangerous, however. While Sánchez does encounter minor problems with some customers who are inebriated or rowdy, there was one time in particular when he got held up and his brother was shot.

“About three years ago I was robbed,” he said. “I was calm because I knew what to do during a hold-up. The robber came in through the door and had a gun in his hand. He took all the money and then shot my brother for a gold chain he was wearing.”

His brother survived and the robber only took that night’s money. Sánchez takes it all in stride. He sees it as part of the risk of doing business and doesn’t plan to quit anytime soon. The taco truck boom is in full swing and he plans to keep selling tacos as long as there are hungry customers.

“It’s definitely booming now,” said García. “I feel that all the vendors that I have in my area are really doing a good job. I think it’s a good opportunity for a new business to start up.”

Taco trucks can be simple kitchens on wheels powered by a generator, or full self-contained units. With the liberty to set up shop virtually anywhere, they offer a mobility that restaurants will never have. They are not confined to one place and they can easily move if business is going slow. But once they have found their place, taco trucks get repeat customers.

Sabor México has tourists who come back year after year looking for their tacos on Albuquerque’s West Side while Sánchez Tacos continues to expand. Both these taco trucks, and dozens more throughout the city, showcase how immigrants craving the food and flavors of their home countries etched taco trucks into the city’s landscape.

— Nicolás Cabrera

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

To All: It is with great pleasure that I forward to you the following email from Elmer Maestas. It’s an announcement about our New Mexico brethren: Maria Conchita Marquez de Lucero and husband John Lucero, of Albuquerque and The New Mexican Columnist Orlando Romero of Namb. They are being honored for their work toward preserving New Mexico’s strong cultural roots and ties to Spain. 

I would ask that you forward it within your wide contact lists. Mrs. Lucero (Conchita), provided the longer version of the announcement below and adds a few words to Elmer’s email by saying that the granting of their awards should be good news throughout the country, but in her words, “…Spanish history and information does not usually warrant any coverage.” I sincerely and respectfully agree and remind you that this is the attitude some of us are trying to change in Texas (& Mimi/Somos Primos) is trying to change worldwide. In other words, if we don’t do it ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us.

Saludos,  José Antonio “Joe” López 

"CenturyLink Customer" 

November 22, 2014
Historic Cultural Event (SFNewMexican Article)

New Mexico's and Hispanic New Mexican's cultural ties to Spain, their long ago "mother country," continues to flourish as another round of distinguished honors for three outstanding New Mexicans will take place today. Spanish Ambassador Enric Panes will award the "Order of Isabella The Catholic/Isabela La Catolica" to Nambe's Orlando Romero, and Albuquerque's Conchita Maria Lucero and John Lucero for their "dedication in preserving the Spanish language, history, culture and traditions and customs of Hispanic New Mexico." These honors were approved at the highest level of the Spanish government, by King Felipe VI himself. The honoring of these distinguished New Mexicans is in keeping with Spain's historic and long enduring New Mexico ties, as other
distinguished New Mexicans who have been so honored include - Ambassador Edward Romero, Major General Melvin Montano, Mr Albert Gallegos and others. We are hoping that this event/honor is widely published in New Mexico as should be the case. Well Done and Well Deserved -Orlando, Conchita and John. Un Gran Saludo, Elmer.

La Orden de Isabel la Católica, the Order of Isabela the Catholic honor will be presented by Ambassador Enric Panes, Consul General of Spain, to Maria Conchita Marquez de Lucero and husband John Lucero, of Alburquerque, also to New Mexican Columnist Orlando Romero of Namb. The award is one of Spain’s highest Honors according to an announcement made by Albert J. Gallegos Honorary Consul of Spain in Santa Fe, who will be assisted by Honorary Consul of Spain in Alburquerque Fred Mondragon at a private reception at the Instituto Cervantes de Albuquerque located at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque on Nov. 24, 2014. 

The couple is being awarded the honor for their dedication in preserving the Spanish heritage, language, history, culture traditions, and customs. As founding members of the New Mexican Hispanic Culture Preservation League they worked to acknowledge the history of the first European settlers with a 33 piece sculpture La Jornada, the Journey, located in front of the Alburquerque Museum at the corner of Mountain and 17th. Street NW. Directly behind the monument is a wall naming the 400 settles, who came up the Camino Real in 1598 bringing life stock, agriculture products. Many Hispanics can trace their roots to the original settlers. They were also founding members of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, working to education others of the positive impact of the settlers. Their interest did not stop in New Mexico ,they were also active in the El Paso dedication to don Juan de Oate , the Equestrian, which is the world’s largest equestrian sculpture. Conchita was appointed to the Cuartocentenario (400 the year celebration) planning committee for Alburquerque, and chaired the parade. During the city of Alburquerque’s 300th birthday in 2006 the couple reenacted their founding ancestors in the Plaza dedication ceremony. They both trace their roots to a common ancestor Captain Gernimo Márquez from San Lucar de Barrameda mayor Spain in the 16th century and have visited the towns of origin of their ancestors. John is retired from Bernalillo County, where he was director of Building and Zoning and was elected to serve on the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association Board. Conchita is retired from Bernalillo County, where she was a Senior Tax Researcher in the Treasurer’s office prior to being 

Agriculture Supervisor in the Assessor’s Office.

Orlando Romero a local author, historian and columnist for The New Mexican. It isn’t the first award Romero has received. Romero has received the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in 1980. He is retired from the State’s History Library and authored Nambé Year One, a nonfiction book that explores the history of Northern New Mexico. He said he often travels to Spain.

The Order was created by King Ferdinand VI of Spain in honor of Queen Isabel I of Castile with the name of "Royal and American Order of Isabel the Catholic" with the intent of "rewarding the firm allegiance to Spain and the merits of Spanish citizens and foreigners in good standing with the nation and especially in those exceptional services provided in pursuit of territories in America and overseas."

The King of Spain, currently Felipe VI, is Grand Master of the Order. The Chancellor of the Order is Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel García-Margallo . All deeds granting decorations of the Order must bear the signatures of both. 

Other notables who have received the honor include former Ambassador Ed Romero, Fray Angelico Chavez, Maria Benitez, Ambassador Frank Oritz, Dr. Jose Sanchez, Jose Antonio Esquibel, Dr. John L. Kessell, Marc Simmons PhD., Socorro V. Aragon, Bob Moore, and Carlos Fuentes. Felix Almaraz PhD., Jose Cisneros artists, Sheldon Hall Honorary Consul to Spain from El Paso, Texas. (Source of this article: Catholic Communicator).

Sent by Joe Lopez


Mexican American Studies On Trial
Maya Arce, et al. v. John Huppenthal, et al.
On January 12, 2015, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit against Arizona officials who eliminated the Mexican-American Studies curriculum from public schools in Tucson. We have been waiting for this moment for our time in court, and have been tirelessly advocating for Chicana/o educational equity while our parents, familias, teachers, and fellow students have been under attack from this State of Arizona since 2006. The pivotal moment in Chicana/o history is now here!

Our antepasados have sacrificed so much for us!

As one of the plaintiffs in this historic case, being present for the oral arguments in the 9th Circuit Court is crucial. We are both honored and very excited to be a part of continuing the legacy of advocating for the educational rights of Mexican Americans and view this case as continuous with landmark cases such as Méndez v. Westminster (1947). Never before have the stakes been so high for the Mexican American-Chicana/o community in terms of education, we cannot afford to take steps backward in the advances that our antepasados have made and who have sacrificed so much for us.

As an 11th grade student, I am extremely disappointed that I did not get to participate in Chicana/o Studies in my school because of the mean spirited and exclusionary acts of the State of Arizona making it against the law to study the beautiful history, culture, literature and arte of my community who has contributed so much to this nation, the Mexican American-Chicana/o community. I want to ensure that my brother and those who come after me in Tucson schools have the opportunity to experience this transformative educational model that helps us youth develop a strong sense of cultural and academic identity and academic proficiency in all students, particularly Chicana/o youth. 

Plaintiffs Korina Lopez and Maya Arce with University of Seattle law team
We need your support!

We are seeking support for our travel and lodging costs to ensure we can attend this hearing at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco - any amount helps! I humbly ask you all consider helping the Chicana youth plaintiffs, Korina Lopez and myself, in this historic landmark case. DONATE TO 9th CIRCUIT TRAVEL COSTS.  Si se puede!

Maya Isabel Arce
Plaintiff, Arce v. Huppenthal
Chicana scholar
XICANOINSTITUTE.ORG | 2233 E. Speedway Blvd | Tucson | AZ | 85719

Raza de Oro-Vaquero
My people are taught by Misael Chico Ramirez
The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA)
Edinburg, TX · 
My people are taught 
Taught that we were "discovered" as soulless savages walking this land.
Taught to think that our ancestors had no culture, no intellect, no history, no contributions. Hundreds of years of colonialism,  
     imperialism, racism.
Stripped from our language. Separated from our families. The punching bag of the country's problems. 
Taught that our language is inferior. Taught to be ashamed of our beautiful skin.
Taught that if you want to make it in America, you have to forget your past. 
Taught to devalue our hardworking communities. Taught to detach from our roots.
Taught to believe the stereotypes.

I've been to Seattle and walked with founding Black Panther members. Experienced the Native/Asian Pacific/Muslim Culture.
I've been to Jacksonville, seen the African American older generation community empower their youth at Historically Black 
I've been to Los Angeles where we celebrated how far we have come as Chicanos/Latinos turning struggle into art. 
I've been exposed to, learned from, and created life long friendships from almost every ethnicity in contemporary America. America is changing.

I came back from Califas to experience a bittersweet moment. I was happy to see hundreds of students protesting to save our loved mascot the "Broncs" aka Bucky the Bronc. With UTPA merging with UTB into UT-RGV next year, a new mascot was needed to have both schools start fresh together. The new name given was "Vaqueros" aka Cowboys. I was ashamed of the reaction to the new name. Although I would love to stay with Broncs, the first college that I have attended, I was ashamed of the ignorance and internal racism that came from the leaders of the protest stirring up anger and shame of our culture to hundreds of protesters that attended. It was a sad day to see how these "leaders" were not touching base on anything that had to do with our tuition, curriculum, and education in general. All it was about was a rally to stir up anger and division amongst each other. They were embarrassed at how they will be perceived by the dominant culture. Ashamed that they will have to explain their new mascot to others because the name is in spanish. Using social media as a tool to make fun of how the nation will perceive us...making fun of our own community, heritage and people through memes. Rallying "How are we going to be stereotyped!?" "How am I supposed to explain to others our new mascot that's in Spanish!?" "This is America!? We speak English!" "This isn't Mexico!" This was nothing new that I had heard, I hear this stuff daily. "Why did you move to the Valley to study...its so ghetto..dirty...boring...ugly...etc" And although many were protesting strictly to save Bucky...It also reaffirmed the internal hate and negative views that is a lived reality at this University.

A generation that has been blinded. A generation that does not know that this school was established to serve the sons and daughters of those who migrated down south to make profit off of the Agricultural economy with cheap labor. The grandkids of those who worked this land during World War II now attending this University. The sons and daughters of those who continue to work for this University and community. Our own people talking bad about our own people.

A generation that attends a University that is 91% Mexican American/Hispanic, yet is doing anything possible to detach from that. A generation that attends a University that once made it mandatory for Mexican American students to take Speech classes to get rid of their accents.

You take away the 91% Mexican American/Hispanic population on this campus...and you will see nothing on campus that reflects that it is a Hispanic serving institution. A institution that is 91% Mexican American/Hispanic, yet our Mexican American Studies program is one of the least funded programs, fighting to stay alive, fighting to become a department. We are the majority here population wise, yet are still the minority in everything else. .

I cannot blame the students for it is not there fault. We were never taught that we had heroes. Never taught to honor our pioneers and founders. Silenced when we questioned. I myself was ignorant and blinded by the machine working against me. A combination of experiences, events, and folks from all backgrounds had to take place in order for my consciousness to manifest. But I have Faith and Hope for our future. 

How far have we come? How far can we go? But first We must unite internally and learn from our past if we ever want to advance as a people in the future. This is not a blame game. It is a calling. Callin out all my people. We have work to do. You wanna change starts with us. We need to Create. Educate. Graduate. Empower ourselves first. Empower our families. Our communities. Our friends. The next generation.

If we don't stand up and place value for our people, our communities, ourselves...who will? If we talk bad of our own people and communities...we are just leading others who have never been here to believe that there is no value here. If you're scared of your own people, You're scared of yourself. Yes, this is a Border-Town..a low-income region, a region that is first generation high school/college. But that does not define us. We have some of the brightest, hardworking individuals at this university and in this region. It's time. TIME TO FLIP THE SCRIPT. Don't let a name or a perception of others define you. You create your own definition of what it is to be the next generation Mexican American/Latino. You create what it is to be from South Texas. What it is to be American. There's plenty for all of us to eat...who's hungry? Much Love to All my peoples. Toda mi gente. Mi raza.

"Don't let them CHANGE ya! Or even REARRANGE ya!..We've got a mind of our own!"-Bob Bob Marley 

Sent by Roberto Calderon, 


Alamo Cenotaph: Site of Historic Interest
For Texan of the Year, I nominate Ruben Garcia by Robert Moore
Spanish Land Grants Not Honored by the United States
Rosters of Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution, 1776-1783 by Jesse O. Villarreal Sr.
San Antonio Historical Association to celebrate its seventy-fifth year in January 2015
Going Home by Daisy Wanda Garcia 
Latin Legacy, Eva Longoria, March 15, 1975 by Christopher Perez
The String of Pearls of the Lower Rio Grande by José Antonio López

December 5, 1791 --  Karankawa Crossing to Matagorda Island Found
November 24th, 1835 -- Republic of Texas authorizes Texas Rangers
Navarro Casa Cenotaph -  State honor and ongoing major project. 

Alamo Cenotaph

“Site of Historic Interest”

Rueben and Dorothy Perez gave an account of the first Women and Children of the Alamo Descendents’ meeting in 1995. When their father, a grandson of Alejo E. Perez, the youngest survivor of the battle, stepped up to the podium to give the opening blessing but with tears in his eyes and his voice quivering, he was unable to conclude the prayer. As the patriarch of the Perez family he had touched history as the very last person in San Antonio to have personally had contact with an Alamo survivor. 

n 1998, after many years of campaigning by Dorothy and Rueben, the Texas Historical Commission designated the grave of their great grandfather, a “Site of Historic Interest.” When Lanzarote descendent Alejo E. Perez passed away in 1918 he was the last known survivor of the Battle of the Alamo.

The names of all the defenders are engraved on the columns of the Alamo Cenotaph including two Canary Island descendents who were caught and put to death by Mexican soldiers whilst attempting to smuggle themselves through enemy lines in order to seek help for their besieged comrades    

By permission of Lancelot Newsletter,  "The Alamo story"  page 31
For more information, contact editors, Liz and Larry,  
Tel. 928 817 531     Sent by Henry Garcia, 


For Texan of the Year, I nominate Ruben Garcia
by Robert Moore, Nov 27, 2014
Garcia is director of Annunciation House, 
a shelter for migrants in El Paso.


When tens of thousands of Central American women and children surged into the Rio Grande Valley this summer, it triggered another combative debate about our nation’s immigration policies.  But in El Paso, a border community hundreds of miles away from the influx, another conversation took place, focused on one question: How can we help?

Within days, five shelters opened in El Paso and neighboring Las Cruces, N.M., to provide temporary accommodation to Central American migrants. Directing all of this activity was Ruben Garcia, 68, who for 36 years has lived his Catholic faith by running Annunciation House, a South El Paso haven for unauthorized immigrants, asylum seekers and others in need of assistance.

The Central American relief effort was driven by community donations and volunteers, with no government money. Eventually, more than 2,500 people would pass through El Paso area shelters on their way to join relatives elsewhere in the country.

For his lifetime of devotion, but especially for leading a community to reveal its better self in a time of challenge, Ruben Garcia is my nomination for Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year.

Garcia exemplifies many Texans who overcame pervasive public fears to focus on people in need during this summer’s humanitarian crisis.

When immigration officials needed help in housing planeloads of families, they turned to Garcia, whose shelter in the past has been the target of immigration raids. Garcia worked with churches and nonprofits to establish a network of shelters.

“We estimate that between all of the sites, 5,000 volunteers stepped forward. I never made one appeal for the resources. They just poured in. … It’s an incredible, incredible story,” Garcia said.

That response “was one of the most ethical moments of a community,” he said.  Garcia’s leadership made it possible.

“That one of the poorest communities in the country could, without government assistance, take care of hundreds of asylum seekers without incident is a testament to the grace, the goodness and the leadership of Ruben and the people who joined him in providing for the families who came to us from Central America this summer,” said U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat.

El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said Garcia “represents the best of what El Paso, the border, Texas, and our nation of immigrants is all about.”

“It was his voice that reminded us of our obligation to others, especially the most vulnerable, and of our responsibility as Americans,” she said. “It was his leadership that made us one of the communities that set the example for the nation.”

El Paso Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz, a prominent voice of the U.S. church during the Central American influx, lauds Garcia as an example of living one’s faith.

“In our lives we encounter many people with opinions and good causes. But only rarely do we encounter people who are so completely dedicated to their service that they will commit every aspect of their lives and every last ounce of their energy to that service. In Ruben Garcia I have encountered such a person,” Seitz said.

“Thanks to Ruben Garcia’s witness and leadership, El Paso responded to a situation that could easily have led to social unrest with a generosity that became a model of effective community action and Gospel love,” the bishop said.

As our nation continues its debate about immigration — what Garcia refers to as “yelling at each other” — we would do well to ponder his words:  “We may disagree, but let’s at least ask ourselves, ‘How do we deal with human beings?’”

Robert Moore is editor of the El Paso Times. Contact him 

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Spanish Land Grants Not Honored by the United States

11/13/2014 wrote to George Farias:

Hi George . . .  I was just sent this video clip from John Inclan . .  .  I loved the point made by the attorney . . "How many professionals could  have come out of South Texas, if the funds would have been distributed to the  descendents legally and correctly." 

The conditions and suffering of Mexican Americans in South Texas is  legend.  It is really an very astute comment. 
I remember the Balli family being recognized, but I don't remember reading  it was expanded to other descendents.  I would like to include the  date  of the news video, but I could not find it anywhere on the  video.

Do you remember the year and month when the newscast was made.    I am hoping you do, since you and your daughter were interviewed.  . .  .  very well done . . .  so proud of you!!

Hugs, Mimi

11/13/2014 from George Farias
Dear Mimi:

Good to hear from you and hope you are doing well.

The interview with Greg Groogan occurred May 28, 2013 in La Porte, Texas outside of Houston. It aired the next day, May 29, 2013. Greg has done several clips on our cause in the past and this is the latest one. He is an outstanding award winning reporter.

This year the HB724 Commission has been meeting and doing a very poor job. They are trying to block our efforts and make us look ridiculous but it is working against them as we gain more supporters and they are the ones looking bad. We were supposed to have three advocates for our cause on the commission and instead Governor Rick Perry appointed persons who are against our efforts.

Mrs. Fowler's website is under the HEIRS Button you will find much information. I wrote the HEIRS BROCHURE to succinctly explain our cause. Under ACTION NEWS you will find her reports to her clients. Under WHITE PAPER AND SUPPLEMENTS you will find a series of papers I wrote to guide the commission in their task. They have ignored them all but I will be on the November 21st agenda again to clarify the confusion and misrepresentations (lies)by the commission.

Under the HEIRS button is another, STATUS OF ALL COURT CASES. You can view the extent of Mrs. Fowler's  work trying to get claims filed for Unclaimed well production in our land grants.

A local TV reporter is doing an extensive investigation on this and it will air probably within 30 days. I will inform you of it and get a clip to you. We will also have some breaking news soon about our cause.

We are fighting hard to bring justice for our South Texas families.

The State of Texas has been for years in violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (White Paper Supplement # 6) That article guarantees that the states will protect our life and property. Not only have they done a miserable job to our families, agents of the state were complicit in the atrocities, such as the Texas Rangers, Judges, Clerks, Tax Assessor-collectors. County Clerks, etc. Texas is not out of the woods legally for their murders and thievery. We will hold them accountable.






I am pleased to announce that my book, ROSTERS OF TEJANO PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1776-1783, is now published and available for sale. It is an addendum to my first book, TEJANO PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1776-1783, and contains 51 rosters of the soldiers at Presidio La Bahia del Espiritu Santo and Presidio San Antonio de Bexar.

Please see below for details.
Saludos,  Jesse O. Villarreal, Sr.

Rosters of Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution 1776-1883 is an addendum to Jesse O. Villarreal Sr’s first publication Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution 1776-1783. This new book contains documented rosters of the Presidial soldiers stationed at Presidio La Bahia del Espiritu Santo and San Antonio de Bexar at the time of the American Revolution. The names of these soldiers, on the rosters, are being accepted as Patriots into the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Details of Rosters of Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution 1776-1783 are listed below:

1. This publication contains historical documentation of 51 rosters from 1776-1783, with 22 from San Antonio de Bexar and 29 from La Bahia del Espiritu Santo (now Goliad).

2. The main purpose of the presidial soldiers was to protect Tejano citizens, villas, ranchos, coast, and roads from hostile Indians and foreign enemies.

3. The rosters include the names of the soldiers who were detached to El Fuerte del Cibolo, a small outpost situated midway between the presidios at Bexar and La Bahia. Their main purpose was to protect the ranchos and roads between the two presidios. This small fort was located on San Bartolo Ranch, which was owned by the Andres Hernandez family. Its soldiers guarded cattle and horses which were eventually driven to General Bernardo de Galvez’s troops in Louisiana and Florida. This area was infiltrated with hostile Indians whose intent was to steal the cattle and horses and trade to the British for guns and rifles.

This publication is now available for $25.00 plus $3.00 for shipping. Please contact  for ordering.

January 2015, San Antonio Historical Association to celebrate its seventy-fifth year 
 Gilberto Quezada

This January 2015, the prestigious San Antonio Historical Association will celebrate its seventy-fifth year. In 1940, the founders of the association elected the eminent Texas historian, Brother Joseph William Schmitz, S.M., Ph.D., to serve as the first president. Its mission is to promote research, writing, lectures and community activities in safeguarding, enhancing, and recording the history of San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas. A diamond jubilee is a time for reminiscing; a time that brings back many fond memories. In 2000, I was elected president of the San Antonio Historical Association, a position I held for almost two years. At that time, I was only the second Hispanic to hold the leadership reins of this prestigious organization. I met with the other officers on a monthly basis to discuss our agenda, usually over lunch, and a few days prior to our general public meeting in the evening. On Thursday, January 25, 2001, the San Antonio Historical Association held its annual award dinner and I had the honors of presenting the Award of Merit to retired Lt.Col. Frank W. Jennings, a local historian, writer, and author, having written the award-winning book, San Antonio: The Story of an Enchanted City. He was also an active member of several local and state historical and genealogical organizations. The award is presented to an honoree from San Antonio and its environs in recognition of outstanding contributions to the preservation of South Texas History. 


I also served as the emcee for the evening affair, and I asked Dr. Félix D. Almaráz, Jr., my good friend and mentor, and at the time a professor of history at UTSA, to be the Roast Master, which he gladly obliged. Two days after the social event, Mr. Jennings wrote me a nice letter, stating in part: "I want to congratulate you on the very smooth, dignified and alert way you conducted the function...a day that to me will 'live without infamy' for the rest of my life. 

As I said on Thursday evening, when you get to be a few years past 80, a Roast is like a somewhat misguided eulogy. But the recipient is still around to rebut the distortions...As I told Felix the other day, I feel so thankful that you agreed to serve as president of the organization. As I also told Felix, you lend it an air of dignity and calmness and solid substance that the best leaders must evidence...And thanks again for all you've done to keep things progressing right from the start." In the first photo, I just finished introducing Mr. Jennings. The person on your lower right is Robin M. Ellis, and he was our treasurer. 


And, in the second photo, Dr. Almaráz is in the process of roasting our honoree, and to the right of Dr. Almaráz, yours truly, followed by Mr. Jennings, Mrs. Isabel Jennings, Dr. Bruce Winders (historian at the Alamo Research Library), and Mrs. Winders. At present, the association is headed by Dr. Almaráz, Dr. Gilbert R. Cruz, Dr. Patrick Butler and others, and they are doing a superb job. 

By Daisy Wanda Garcia  

It is always a treat for me to visit my home town of Corpus Christi Texas. This time it was to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my cousins Tony and Yolanda Canales. At the Canales home, I was fortunate enough to visit with three generations of Garcia-Canales cousins and flattered that the younger generation still remembered who I was. Barbara, Patricia and Hector Canales Tony’s and Yolanda’s children are grown up and have children of their own who morphed into adults. I remembered all as babies and to be confronted with three generations of grown up cousins made me realize how much time has passed. Yolanda’s mother and sisters were present as well. For many years, holiday celebrations were held at Dr. Cleo Garcia’s and then Tony and Yolanda’s house. Notably missing were long time regulars my father Dr. Hector and Wanda my mother; Dr. Cleo, Dr. Xico, and wife Yolanda, and Dr. J.A. Garcia. For me this family gathering was filled with memories as the living and the spirits of the departed congregated to celebrate.

Afterwards, Dr. Rita Hernandez drove me to Seaside Memorial cemetery to pay my respects to my parents and relatives, Texas A&M University and tour of the city. I was surprised by all the demolition on Ocean Drive and felt lost because of the absence of familiar landmarks. I consoled myself with the knowledge that time and change is inevitable…even though I do not always like it.

One of our destinations was beautiful Heritage Park. Talk about stepping into the past. We walked past many houses. I knew many of the descendants of the builders of these homes, such as the Grossmans, Lichtenstein’s, the Galvan’s and others. The house that called out to me was the Galvan Home because I have a history with this house. Originally the house was located on the bluff overlooking the water. My parents were friends of the Lozano, Galvan and Guzman clans. These families helped my father, Dr. Hector Garcia get established as a physician when he first arrived. They were frequent guests at our house and we at their homes. Because of their friendship, I was invited to the birthday parties of Lupita Galvan in the Galvan home. My mother would drive us and I would run to the front of the yellow house. 

I have many memories of walking up the imposing steps to that house and knocking on the front door. One of the Galvan’s would open the door and I would run through the house to the back yard where all the children were assembled. While all the merriment occurred at the rear, the adults would stay in the parlor and gossip. The party had all the usual treats a piñata, party hats and noise makers. We fought hard to be the one cracking the piñata even though the victor seldom got the best treats. Once the children became exhausted from too much merriment, adults and children would assemble in the rear to serve the cake, punch and Ice cream. Lupita would open the birthday gifts and we would get more excited every time she opened each gift and punctuate our excitement with oohs and ahhs. At the gatherings in the Galvan home the who’s who of Corpus Christi pioneer families were represented…Anna Maria Guzman and her brother Celso, her mother Tina Guzman and Tita Montoya, Carmen Lozano aunts and the family matriarch Mrs. Gabe Lozano and many others whose names I have forgotten.…Anna Maria and I would always get into fights. These parties lasted way into the night when we were forced to go home because of lack of light. These birthday celebrations continued annually until we children became teenagers and our lifepaths separated us.

Historic Texas Galvan House Plaque


I sat in the Lytton Memorial Rose Garden next to the Galvan’s house and reflected 
on all the changes in my life up to the present. At age 68 I can relate to what Mark Strand, poet laureate said that the elderly look back because there is more to see in the past than in the future. 

Meanwhile a beautiful young lady was having pictures taken for her quinceanera. So the cycle of life continues.


Originally located at the corner of Waco and Comanche Streets, this colonial revival home was built in 1907-08 for the family of Asa Milton and Frances Garrett French. A. M. French (1850-1936), a native of New Hampshire, was a surveyor and civil engineer. He settled in Corpus Christi in 1882 after working on the construction of the Texas-Mexican railroad and became an active civic leader. The home was acquired by Rafael Galvan (1887-1966) in 1942. Galvan was a Corpus Christi policeman for 20 years and was a founder and charter member of the league of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). A prominent businessman as well, he also opened a popular ballroom. The home remained in the Galvan family for 40 years.

The French Galvan house is a two story structure with a wraparound gallery on each floor. The first story boasts ionic columns. The central dormer on the hipped roof features a palladian window and is surrounded by a balustrade. The classical ionic order is also featured at the front entryway. The Corpus Christilandmark was moved to this site in 1983.

“The String of Pearls of the Lower Rio Grande”
December 7, 2014
By José Antonio López

SAN ANTONIO, December 7 - This past November 24th, UTPA (UTRGV) unveiled on its campus a statue honoring Count José de Escandón y Helguera. 

It was a most fitting tribute, since he has earned the title of Father of the Rio Grande Valley. Yet, for all he did to lead the highly successful pioneer settlements in what is now South Texas from Laredo to Brownsville to Goliad, he is little known outside the region. The following summarizes his extraordinary story that is missing in mainstream Texas history. 

As Spain looked for ways to protect its families living in early Texas between the years 1718 through the 1730s, the need for a better system to sustain them became crucial. Three problems surfaced almost immediately. One, the great distance between San Juan Bautista Presidio “The Gateway to Texas” and settlements to the northeast; Two, persistent rumors that the French were ready to march from Louisiana to claim territory west of the Sabine River; and Three: the constant threat of hostile natives who disapproved of any European settlements in their lands. The Spanish King tasked the New Spain Viceroy for answers. The viceroy then sought ideas from his advisers. A brilliant citizen answered the call; his name was José de Escandón. 

José de Escandón was born on May 19, 1700, in Soto La Marina, Santander, Spain. His family was fairly well-to-do. He received a good education, and while still a young man of fifteen, the youth’s wish for adventure came true. He sailed to America. His military prowess was proven numerous times in Yucatán where he began his worthy reputation as a proven military leader, friend of the court, and explorer. Due to favorable reports from his superiors, the King of Spain was truly impressed by the dashing cavalryman. He quickly rose through the ranks. 

Soon, the young soldier returned to Spain; got married in 1727, but lost his wife shortly after. He sailed back to New Spain and was posted in Queretaro. He married for the second time and he and his wife, Josefa de Llera y Bayas, had seven children. Soon, he became interested in the region of Sierra Gorda, today’s Northern Mexico and Texas. 

Since Cabeza de Vaca’s travels in the early 1500s and the sad fate of 200 shipwreck survivors on the Texas coast in 1554, the region was thought to be inhabited by unfriendly natives. Out of many recommendations to settle the unfamiliar region, José de Escandón’s idea was accepted. The massive enterprise became known as Las Villas del Norte, the largest and most complicated settlements in what is now Texas. His was the only major effort that was all-civilian. Also unique was that rather than one large body of people traveling together, Escandón used a multi-route approach and each successfully reached its destination. 

With families he recruited in Querétaro, José de Escandón established over 20 communities on both sides of the Rio Grande during the years 1749-1755. The first of these along the Rio was Camargo, established in 1749. Quickly in succession came Reynosa (1749), Refugio (1749), Dolores (1750), Revilla (1750), Mier (1753), and Laredo (1755). For the record, Camargo families came from the state of Nuevo León, mainly from the towns of Cadereyta, Cerralvo, Monterrey, and Pesquería Grande. Families in Reynosa came from Monterrey, Cadereyta, Cerralvo, and Montemorelos (Rio Pilón area). In 1749, some Camargo and Reynosa families united and settled Refugio (today’s Matamoros/Brownsville) and initiated the vaquero cattle raising industry in the area. 

Dolores was established by Captain José Vásquez Borrego, a wealthy rancher from Coahuila who had expanded his ranching enterprise to include the Lower Rio Grande region. Revilla was established with over 50 families from the state of Nuevo León. The growth-from-within approach continued with a number of Camargo families settling the town of Mier. Don Tomás Sánchez brought his brothers, their families, and other families from Nuevo León to his new Villa de San Agustín de Laredo. Of note is the fact that many of our families were of Sephardic Jewish ancestry. 

For 100 years, the Villas stretched like a “String of Pearls” along the lower Rio Grande radiating faith in God and family unity. The Spanish Mexican pioneer settlers built a system of roadways (Caminos del Rio) connecting the Villas. In fact, parts of highway U.S. 83 are built on caminos our Villas ancestors built with their bare hands. As a midpoint from Monclova to points north in Texas, Dolores and Laredo served as much welcomed stopping points on the Camino Real. 

A significant detail that is lost in today’s discussion of the Villas is that when Escandón’s group arrived in the lower Rio Grande, they were the first European-descent inhabitants there. For example, when the residents of Laredo and Dolores began building their homes, they were the only Europeans living in permanent buildings on this side of the Rio Grande from the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso and Santa Fe, New Mexico! 

When completed, the total number of families involved in what collectively became known as Las Villas del Norte was nearly 1,500 with a combined population of over 6,000, plus nearly 3,000 Christian Native Americans. It must be said that the Villas are the source of many Texas families that settled vital early communities “deep in the heart of Texas”: San Antonio, Los Adaes (Nacogdoches), and La Bahia (Goliad). 

The Crown was pleased and awarded Escandón the title of Count of Sierra Gorda and first governor of the newly named territory of Nuevo Santander that included the southern portion of Texas. Not everyone was happy, especially those settlers who wanted deeds to their lands. Don José was unwilling to grant them because he was convinced that once the ranchers got deeds, they would abandon the towns. After an inspection directed by the viceroy, Don José was summoned to Mexico City to defend himself against his accusers. The embarrassing hearing took its toll. Don José died in 1770 before the end of his trial. His son, Manuel, taking up the case, defended his father’s name and his selfless service to the king. In the end, Don José’s name was cleared. Like many other pre-1836 Spanish heroes, Governor Escandón is greatly under-appreciated in Texas history. 

Despite their birthright, life in the Villas abruptly changed in 1848. As a result of the U.S. Mexico War of 1846-1848, the close-knit communities were broken in two. Residents living west and south of the new border remained Mexican citizens. Those living east and north first became Texas citizens and shortly after, U.S. citizens. Notwithstanding the split that continues to this day, many Borderlands families still have close contact with each other, proving that the agua del Rio Grande doesn’t separate, but rather unites them. 

Finally, the 36th Texas State Hispanic Genealogy and History Conference will be held in Laredo, Texas, October 8-11, 2015. Hopefully, if you’re a Villas descendant, you’re making plans to attend. If you aren’t a descendant, but wish to learn more of José de Escandón; want to begin your own genealogy search; or want to know about other vital pieces of the Spanish Mexican founding roots of Texas, such as (l) the origins of the unique vaquero (cowboy) way of life in Texas; (2) Captain José Vázquez Borrego; (3) Colonel José Antonio Zapata (Zapata County); plus many other fascinating stories, come join your primas & primos at this impromptu extended family reunion. Above all, please come to see why the welcome words of “Mi casa es su casa” have made Laredo the home of hospitality. 

José “Joe” Antonio López was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and is a USAF Veteran. He now lives in Universal City, Texas.  He is the author of three books: “The Last Knight (Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, A Texas Hero),” “Nights of Wailing, Days of Pain (Life in 1920s South Texas).” and, “The First Texas Independence, 1813.” Lopez is also the founder of the Tejano Learning Center, LLC, and, a Web site dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are mostly overlooked in mainstream history books
(File photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)\

December 5, 1791 --  Karankawa Crossing to Matagorda Island Found

On this day in 1791, Fray José Francisco Garza found the Karankawa crossing to Matagorda Island, where the natives had kept horses stolen from the Spanish. Garza’s discovery marked the high point in the “peace offensive” launched by Garza and fellow Franciscan priest Manuel Julio de Silva. For decades the Spanish had attempted to missionize the Karankawas in order to subdue the hostile group and gain a foothold on the Texas Coast. Garza’s access to Matagorda Island, then known as Toboso Island, which the Indians had used as a refuge, led to renewed interest in establishing a mission in the area. His associate Silva proposed the construction of a complex for the Karankawas at the mouth of the Guadalupe River as part of an ambitious plan to convert all Indians between the Mississippi and the Rio Grande. Construction began on Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission, but ultimately the region proved to be unhealthful, and the mission site was relocated twice to settle eventually near the present town of Refugio. The Karankawas maintained their nomadic and hostile ways until American colonization and warfare rendered the tribe virtually extinct in the mid-nineteenth century.

Day by Day Texas State Historical Association

November 24th, 1835 -- Republic of Texas authorizes Texas Rangers

On this day in 1835, Republic of Texas lawmakers instituted a special force known as the Texas Rangers. Stephen F. Austin had hired ten experienced frontiersmen as "rangers" as early as 1823, but the 1835 legislation formalized the organization. The importance of the rangers has waxed and waned several times over the ensuing century and a half. They participated in many notable battles with various Indian tribes and fought ably in the Mexican War; they also were dispatched to restore order during various feuds, border disturbances, and civic upheavals. In the early twentieth century, however, numerous acts of brutality and debauchery committed by rangers, especially against Hispanics, were brought to light, in large part through the efforts of J. T. Canales, and in 1933 governor Miriam A. Ferguson fired all forty-four rangers for their partisan support of her opponent Ross Sterling. When the Texas Department of Public Safety was founded in 1935, it assumed responsibility for a greatly reduced force. In subsequent decades, however, the rangers have once again come to be recognized as the elite of Texas law enforcement. Legendary rangers are honored in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.

Day by Day  Texas State Historical Association

Navarro Casa Cenotaph - State honor and ongoing major project. 
The dedication, ceremony and reception at the Texas State Cemetery, 
February 27, 2015.

A Lasting Public Recognition of Jose Antonio Navarro 
View a 2 minute video 

Hip, hip, hooray! We are nearing our goal, but still we need your help! Please support our last major Navarro project! The ceremony will be on Navarro's 220th anniversary birthday celebration.  His monument will be educational for generations to come! Any donation amount will help! A special ceremony and reception is planned. We look forward to seeing you there to celebrate with us! Thank you for your support! Installation and recognition of a Texas great 

Come join us for the José Antonio Navarro Cenotaph Dedication Ceremony in Austin, TX on February 27, 2015.

For more information, please contact  . . 

Dear Friends:

I'm especially thankful for the past nine years and the tremendous progress and support for "Casa" and the Friends of Casa Navarro. 

With your help and support the following programs and projects have been accomplished! 
2005 Founding of Friends.
Numerous events, exhibits, symposiums, book signings, music concerts, Battle of Flowers, annual King William parades, school tours, and others too numerous to mention! 
Funding the Design Plan for the restoration of the house museum. 
Grand Re-opening of Casa - hosts for VIP Sneak Preview and Re-opening. 
Help with publication of the Navarro Biography by David McDonald. 
Navarro book launch at Neiman's La Cantera (largest book signing held at Neiman's) 
Texas Book Project - Navarro book donations to school libraries. 
Annual Scholarships for graduating senior students. 
Annual Navarro Patriot Award. 
Neighborhood New Projects spearheaded by Jerry and Rosemary Geyer. 
Participation in the House Oversight Committee at the Capital in Austin TX. to ensure the Navarro history kept in the school text books - Rueben Perez, Chair 
World Premier of Navarro the children's opera - drawing largest audience (600) to attend a children's opera. 
Navarro, children's opera in the schools - 34,000 students had the opportunity to experience opera, production, participate in the chorus and learn Texas history. 

Thank you, Thank you for every contribution and for all who have volunteered, visited and supported Casa Navarro State Historic Site!

Sylvia N. Tillotson

To view the Casa Navarro Newsletter, please cut and paste to:

On this day:  December 19th, 1832 -- San Antonio presents grievances to Mexican state legislature
On this day in 1832, San Antonio became the first Texas town to present a list of grievances to the legislature of Coahuila and Texas. The document known as the Bexar Remonstrance was signed by José Ángel Navarro, alcalde of San Antonio. It sought repeal of that part of the Law of April 6, 1830, banning immigration from the United States. It also sought the separation of Texas from Coahuila.    Source: Day by Day, Texas State Historical Association


Notas Latinas, a weekly radio program broadcast
Migrant farmworkers remain crucial to harvest

Notas Latinas, a weekly radio program broadcast

The Celebration of Virgen de Guadalupe is among the major holidays/celebrations in Mexico and wherever Mexican Americans live. As you know, Yolanda and I produce Notas Latinas, a weekly radio program broadcast by several radio stations in North Dakota and Minnesota. We produced a program offering a historical and cultural look at the significance of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Program your cell phone to remind you to tune in. You can listen to the program this upcoming Sunday on KDSU 91.9 FM at 10:00 PM. Or, you can listen online at the following sites:

10 AM     -
12 Noon -
  1 PM     -

Please share this information with others who might have interest in Latino/Hispanic culture and history. If a radio station where you live is interested in broadcasting Notas Latinas, we make it available free of charge. If you provide the contact information, I can contact the station.

Abner Arauza

         Sent by Francisco J. Gonzalez

Migrant farmworkers remain crucial to harvest 
Each year thousands of migrant farmworkers pass through the Midwest to plant and harvest many of the crops we buy in the grocery store. Most fruits, nuts and vegetables that must be picked by hand are likely harvested by a migrant farmworker.

On a warm October afternoon Veronica Jaramillo walks through rows of skinny apple trees on the orchard where she works as the sun sinks behind rolling Missouri hills.

The 30-year-old migrant farmworker reaches into a tree on the Waverly, Mo., orchard, and in one fluid motion, picks a Golden Delicious apple.

“I don’t like picking the Golden,” laughs Jaramillo. “They’re real delicate and you can bruise them with just your fingertips.”

Jaramillo lives in Florida and came to Missouri with her mother Maria, two teenage sons and her husband to work the apple harvest. Like most migrant farmworkers, Jaramillo and her family traveled throughout the country picking crops before settling for two months in Missouri for the apples.

There are about 3 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the U.S., according to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture. But despite their essential contribution, many migrant workers still struggle to obtain a full education and basic healthcare services.

According to the National Agricultural Workers Survey, 50 percent of these workers lack proper documentation. A quarter of them live below the poverty line and 41 percent completed only their primary education.

Stephen Borders, program director at United Migrant Opportunity Services, has been working with migrant workers for more than a decade to connect them to housing services, legal aid and Head Start programs. He says the majority of the people he works with make just $5,000 to $10,000 a year. But what concerns him most is their social isolation.

“They’re anonymous,” Borders said. “There’s really no good way to identify them and track them because they’re sort of this hidden society that is just working in the fields.”

And their work isn’t easy. After waking up at 5 a.m. to get her kids to school, Jaramillo works from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. climbing up and down a ladder picking apples and filling a bag that can weigh around 60 pounds. She fills giant crates, about the size of a large bathtub, and is paid just $13 per crate.

“Right now it’s cold, it’s rainy and there’s days we don’t want to get up,” Jaramillo said. “But it’s got to be done. We have to support our families.”

For Jaramillo, working as a migrant farmworker runs in the family. Her parents, both Mexican immigrants, raised their children traveling from one crop to the next. At 13, Jaramillo began working in the fields part-time. When she didn’t complete high school, seasonal farm work became a familiar and steady way to earn an income. Her mother Maria, now 57, has worked in the fields for 35 years and remembers raising a family while constantly on the move.

“One year when we left from Florida for Michigan, we couldn’t find a house to live in so we lived out of the car,” she says in Spanish. “It was difficult, but that’s the life of an immigrant.”

At the end of the season, because there is less fruit on the trees, Jaramillo estimates that she fills around five crates a day, netting $65. That works out to less than $8.50 an hour.

“A lot of people just go to the stores and buy a bag of fruit and don’t know how it gets picked,” she says. “We pick it. We pick out there in the rain and the cold weather.”

After the apple harvest, Jaramillo plans to return to Florida where she’ll try to find a more established job for the winter. If she can’t find anything she’ll work picking citrus, even though the pay is poor and the temperatures can be scorching.

This season in Missouri has been good to her, she says. Her son made a best friend at school and the free housing was a huge financial benefit. If all goes well, both Jaramillo and her mother say they’ll will be back next year

Posted by: "Francisco J. Gonzalez" 

Sent by Walter Herbeck, who writes: "I believe that we, supporters of reforms in immigration  should start a campaign similar to Cesar Chavez Grape Boycott.  Start with the schools, colleges and communities.  Businesses should be aware that lots of the services and labor are done by (those so called illegal) people.  That keeps their business going, children will be a big target. Please add your ideas, how, when, why this campaign should start with you. " 



Manhattan's Unknown History: El Barrio Español de Nueva York
Plaque of 126 Spanish Citizens martyred as American Revolutionary War patriots
Capitulos de la Relacion Suscinta del Descubrimiento de la Floria por los Españoles


NiLP Note: When I worked at the Manhattan Center of Aspira of New York back in the early 1970s with Izy Colon, Lydia Gonzalez, Baldy, Frank Puig, Alice Cardona, Luis Guzman, Chino, the de Jesus brothers, José Angel Figueroa and other unforgettable characters, our offices were on West 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, an area known as "Little Spain." 

After work, the Aspira employees, all Puerto Rican, would hang out at a little bar on the block, to order tapas, booze and watch some great flamenco dancing. 

We were located directly across the street from the Spanish Benevolent Society, which had been founded in the late 1800s and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the first Spanish-speaking Catholic parish in New York City.
I remember holding community meetings at the church and donating food from our offices to them. Then there was the famed Macondo Bookstore, no longer there, and the weight-enhancing Puerto Rican meals at La Tasa de Oro right around the corner on 8th Avenue (it's still there), sometimes following those PSP meetings at Casa Ls Americas in East 14th Street, which used to feed us on credit (without the credit cards). And the many hours I spent down the block browsing at the Libreri´a Lectorum (now closed) Since posting this message, quite a few reminded me of the famous Casa Moneo, which closed in 1988.

The Spanish Benevolent Society just released on film by Arthur Balder that brings back those memories and underlines the deep roots of the Hispanic presence in New York and the United States. "Little Spain" tells a fascinating but largely untold story not only about Spaniards, but of New York as well.

---Angelo Falcón
National Institute for Latino Policy

Little Spain: Manhattan's Unknown History
DVD of Documentary on Manhattan's Spanish Colony Just Released
Spanish Benevolent Society LLC (November 25, 2014)

To view trailer, click here 
To order DVD, click here 

Documentary brings Manhattan's "Little Spain" to big screen, displaying for first time the process of the Hispanic immigration in New York City. American filmmaker Arthur Balder unveils a chapter of the untold history of Manhattan, the first triumph of the Hispanic immigration to the United States between 19th until late 20th century. 

Several hundreds of never displayed before photographs show a neighborhood called Little Spain in Manhattan in the years of its glory, placed at the west end 14th Street, in the times as it was densely populated by Spaniards and Hispanic immigrants. The film, consequently titled "Little Spain", is a unique homage to the Hispanic immigration in the United States, displaying a part of the history of New York City thanks to an archive of old pictures that show for first time the streets of the city's initial and most compact and dynamic Hispanic community. The film is to date the most successful attempt to put together the pieces of the puzzle of the Hispanic community in south Manhattan.

"Little Spain is a symbol of the first attempt of a successful Hispanic immigration process to the United States" said the director, Arthur Balder. The little-known history of Hispanic migrants who settled in Lower Manhattan in the 19th century and by the mid-20th century had formed one of New York?s most deeply rooted communities is the subject of the documentary titled "Little Spain".

Many have heard the history of Spanish Harlem, but a few know what happened earlier Downtown Manhattan, when a neighborhood called Little Spain, densely populated by Spaniards, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic immigrants, did exist south Chelsea and West Village, around the west end of 14th Street. As a matter of fact, the Spaniards tended to live in close proximity to one another, and, in many cases, in close proximity to Spanish-speakers from countries other than Spain: e.g., Puerto Ricans in New York.

In the film, Spanish American director and journalist Arthur Balder traces the journey of those who left their origins in Spain and South America in search of a better life in the United States and its most important entrance port, New York City, forming the community of Little Spain. The focal point of the documentary is 14th Street in Manhattan, the former heart of one the city's first Hispanic communities.

"Almost no one knows that there was a "Little Spain' in Manhattan, just like there's a 'Little Italy.' That's what's fascinating," Balder, who is also a writer, said. The filmmaker acknowledged that he stumbled upon this story one day "by chance" after hearing about "La Nacional," a hispanic social club that still exists on W. 14th St., between 7th and 8th Avenues, since 1868.

"I learned a lot (by sifting through) some 14th Street's fascinating archives and I realized that what I had in front of me was the bone of an enormous dinosaur," said Balder, who subsequently "scraped around" to gather more details. The fruit of that effort is a 60 minutes feature length documentary that looks back at the founding of La Nacional in 1868 and the uptick in migration from the Iberian nation following Spain's loss of Cuba in 1898, through to the Hispanic "golden age" in New York after Spain's 1936-1939 Civil War and finally the community's sharp decline in the 1970s and '80s.

"For instance, the first wave of Spaniards were merchant marines who arrived at the Chelsea docks, controlled by Irish and Italians," the director said, adding that the Hispanic immigrants integrated well into their new environment and were given work.

Well into the 1960s, Spanish was spoken on 14th St.: "There was one Hispanic establishment after another, and not only very famous restaurants like 'El Coruña,' 'La Bilbaina' and 'Cafe Madrid,' but also Spanish bookstores and shops selling Spanishstyle textiles, like the famous 'Iberia' and the no less well-known 'Casa Moneo'." Some cinemas of Chelsea show in the old pictures the announcement "all Spanish program", displaying films with South American actors of that times. One of the film's highlights is footage of what for years was the most popular celebration in the community, the Santiago Apostol (St. James Day) festival but which "died out" in the early 1990s due to the steady exodus of the then remnants of the Hispanic community from that part of the city.

The director of the film has worked closely with the Museum of Modern Art. He is currently working in two new projects, "The Reality of the Imaginary", with Nobel price winner mario Vargas Llosa, Cervantes literature price José Manuel Caballero Bonald and artist Joan Castejón, a film that will be premiere at the MoMA in 2015, and a new project with Armenian American painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan and renowned art critic Donald Kuspit.

Also, Spain contributed significantly to the vast wave of emigration of Europeans to the Americas which, in the late XIXth and early XXth century, radically transformed the three continents. But compared to some of the other national or ethnic groups of immigrants that came to the United States (e.g., Italian, Irish, Polish) the Spaniards constituted a drop in the bucket of US immigration.

Further information: Centro Español - Spanish Benevolent Society
239 West 14th Street, NY 10011
212 929 7873  

Related:  "Little Spain makes a comeback in NYC: Spaniards once arrived fleeing the likes of Franco; now they're fleeing the Spanish economy" By Jesse Hardman, Aljazeera (February 11, 2014)
Little Spain - New York video report by VideosDiarios (January 6, 2014)


Estimados amigos Sam y Mimí, Historiadores y Genealogistas.

Nota. Transcribo como está escrito: 
Envío a Uds. la Portada de la DEMOSTRACION historiografica del Derecho que tiene el Rey Catholico al territorio que oy posee el Rey Britanico con el nombre de Nueva Georgia en las Provincias y continente de la Florida, en la que se prueba el dominio politico que tiene el Rey de España hasta la Latitud Septentrional de 32 grados 3a minutos inclusive, en que se halla la barra de la Isla de Sta. Elena. terreno por el qual se deben arreglar los limites de las respectivas posesiones en esta parte de mundo entre la Florida y la Carolina. 
Además de este documento que localicé hace varios años, también conservo copia de los originales de los CAPITULOS DE LA RELACION SUSCINTA DEL DESCUBRIMIENTO DE LA FLORIDA POR LOS ESPAÑOLES:

 Havana 22 de Abril de 1742.
" Es un hecho consumado que Juan Ponze de Leon, haviendo armado de su cuenta tres navios, en el Puerto de Sn. German de la Ysla de Borriquen, y Puerto Rico en donde havia ser de Gobernador se hizo a la vela el 3 de Marzo de el año de 1512, y el 27 día de Pasqua de Resurreccion avistando la tierra a quien puso el nombre de Florida  en que por haverse descubierto el Día de Pasqua Florida "etc.....( son tres cuartillas ).

Por medio del Tratado de París el año de 1763 la Florida y los territorios al Este y Sureste del Mississippi fueron cedidos por España al Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña y España recobraba de parte de Gran Bretaña el Puerto de la Havana y la Ciudad de Manila, Filipinas.

Investigaron:  Gloria M. Pérez Tijerina de Palmerín y.Tte. Corl. Intdte. Ret. Ricardo R. Palmerín Cordero.Miembro de Genealogía de México y de la Sociedad de Genealogía de Nuevo León


December 11th, 1886, Black Farmers National Alliance and Cooperative Union Formed
Bernardo de Galvez Honorary Citizenship by Michael N. Henderson
PEN Oakland Acceptance Speech and Report Nina Serrano 


On this day December 11th, 1886, the Black Farmers National Alliance and Cooperative Union Formed

December 11th, 1886 -- Black farmers form union
On this day in 1886, a small group of black farmers formed the Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County. The National Colored Alliance appeared at about the same time, and the two organizations merged. By 1891 the Alliance claimed a membership of 1,200,000. The organization tried to help the members to become better farmers, established a weekly newspaper, the National Alliance, established exchanges in the ports for reduced prices, raised funds for schools, and provided help for sick and disabled members. In 1891, after a strike against white farmers failed to materialize, the Alliance declined rapidly.

Source:  Day by Day   Texas State Historical Association 

Bernardo de Galvez Honorary Citizenship by Michael N. Henderson

Greetings All, 
We are nearing the end of a long journey for U.S. Citizenship and await the President’s signature. Many thanks to all who have supported this effort over the years.

As you all can Imagine, this is wonderful news because finally, our beloved and nearly forgotten Louisiana Spanish Colonial Governor General Bernardo de Galvez, an American Revolutionary War Patriot will get U.S. Citizenship. 

As a native of New Orleans, Louisiana currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, I have a very interesting connection to this historical figure General Bernardo de Galvez and it too culminated with a signature. 

It was 235 years ago this month on Dec 16, 1779, when the then Governor of Spanish Colonial Louisiana signed the manumission papers which granted freedom to my enslaved 4th Generation Great Grandmother named Agnes. 

Through further research, I also discovered, Agnes French consort, whom I later determined to be my 4th Great Generation Grandfather named Mathieu Devaux dit Platilla served in the New Orleans Militia, 3rd company Artillery under the Command of General Galvez. 

These two discoveries, finding Agnes and discovering my ancestral connection to the American Revolution have also connected my ancestry to both Spanish Louisiana and American History in a most interesting way. 

I invite you to view the segment on the PBS program, the History Detectives, titled the Galvez Papers which helped to bring my ancestors story to a National audience. It will be the second segment once video starts.

An in addition to discovering and documenting, my ancestral lineage to Agnes and Mathieu Devaux, In 2010, I was induction into the National Society Sons of the American Revolution because of my ancestral connection to a Louisiana Patriot of the American Revolution - Mathieu Devaux dit Platilla. 

Oh yes, by the way, I GOT PROOF! too.

Here too is another major project which helped bring National attention and further focus on Bernardo de Galvez’s contribuiton during the American Revolution.  

It is my hope that other descendants of those men who served with Galvez take time to appreicate, document and remember their ancestor’s contribution to the United States. 

I stand today, as a Living Memorial of a rich legacy left to me by of my Louisiana Colonial Ancestors. I hope each of you are inspired by each of these actions taken..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years,
Michael N. Henderson, LCDR USN Ret
Past President Button Gwinnett Chapter
Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution
Georgia Writers Association, 50th Author of the Year Finalist 2014
Author, Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation

PEN Oakland Acceptance Speech and Report
by Nina Serrano 

Video: Nina Serrano Accepts 2014 Josephine Miles Award
Click here to see my PEN Oakland Acceptance Speech and my latest poem: "Black Lives Matter." 

The PEN Oakland Award 2014 event left a deep impression on me. The very issues addressed by the award recipients and judges were simultaneously erupting in street protests across the country. The Josephine Miles Award for my book, “HEART STRONG, Selected Poems 2000-2012” brought me personal honor and happiness because of this timing, combined with the event's focus on Black history and resistance to racism.

The six awarded authors were Edwidge Danticat, Claudia Moreno Pisano, Roger Reeves, Akinyele Omowate Umoja, Daniel Chacon and myself. Abraham Bolden received the 2014 Censorship Award and Askia M. Toure received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

One theme in the ceremony was literature. Poet, Ingrid Keir, standing in for her friend, Claudia Moreno Pisano, who is in New Mexico, told about the dynamics of collaboration between Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn during the 1950's and 1960's civil rights era. This interracial friendship evolved through a ten year correspondence, evoking the world of stationary and stamps, as the two radical avant garde writers lamented the difficulties of earning a living and getting published. They offered each other tremendous support to keep on writing, while discussing back and forth their on-going works, clarifying their thoughts and language.

Poet, Roger Reeves energetically and vigorously recited his powerful and moving verse. Like so many younger poets, he didn't even a glance at a piece of paper. His direct language, delivery and themes contributed to the on-going conversation of the afternoon, such as in his poem describing himself going for a run and being pursued by racial taunts. In his poem evoking the brutal murder of Emmett Till, Reeves transforming images into the mythology of the ritual murdering of the King – leaving the sense of the resurrection and rebirth inherent in this literary myth, bringing to my mind a reference to Martin Luther King.

Edwidge Danticat was in her native Haiti and unable to attend. The lovely Haitian poet, Boadiba, spoke about Edwidge's popular new novel "Claire of the Sea Light." The novel speaks about grief and its effects on an impoverished Haitian fishing village with interjections of the Creole language, poetic descriptions and poetry.

Throughout the afternoon, noted author Ishmael Reed remarked on the historic development of the Black writers movement. His introduction to Askia M. Toure revealed the rich milieu of Black voices over the decades. Reed's words illuminated the whole literary scene, rich in debate over tactics and language, interwoven with dynamic personal friendships and social action.

Another issue that overlapped and intertwined with literature was racism and protest politics. The streets around the Oakland Public Library where we were assembled were alive with protests against the institutional police violence against Blacks. The protests inspired my poem, "Black Lives Matter," which I read during the ceremony. (See the video above). We were close to the Berkeley border where the civic action would soon spread. The ceremony seemed immersed in the central events of the moment and it felt so right.

Both Reed and Toure painted a picture of the historic debates in and around the civil rights movement. Once again the conversation bounced back to Amiri Baraka. Reed reported how Toure had introduced Baraka to the concepts and ideas of Black Power in the early sixties that led to late writer's transformation from Leroy Jones to Amiri Baraka and eventually to a leadership role in the Black writers movement.

Askia Toure, activist, teacher and editor was a fountain of fascinating oral history about SNCC, Civil Rights, the Black Panthers and the Black Arts movements. Askia was a griot, (traditional West African storyteller and history keeper) as one compelling story flowed into the next.

This led quite naturally into Akinyele Omowate Umoja's discussion of his book "We Will Fight Back." Through his use of oral history, archival material, and scholarly literature, Umuja explained how Black armed self defense complimented non-violent action by Civil Rights activists and supporters in Mississippi during the voter registration campaigns. I was surprised a few days later when I came across a live video of New York City Broadway performing artists in a Times Square protest against the racist police killings, ending their highly effective piece with the words “We will shoot back.”

Umoja's view of Black armed self defense was confirmed by Askia Toure who recounted ancedotes of heroic and resourceful share croppers who scared off KKK attacks with a show of force. Shotguns and other arms were a common part of Mississippi Black rural life.

Ishmael Reed told the shocking story from Abraham Bolden's book, "The Echo From Dealey Plaza: The True Story of the First African-American on the White House Secret Service Detail and His Quest for Justice After the Assasination of JFK." Bolden came up through the ranks of police security to protecting the president of the United States. As the only Black, he was taunted by his fellow secret service workers who were negligent in protecting President Kennedy because of his racial integration policies. When Bolden reported their laxness after the assassination, he was framed, fired and imprisoned.

The only writer absent and unrepresented that day, but sorely missed, was Daniel Chacon, author of “Juarez: Stories, Loops and Rooms.” I was looking forward to Chacon's work as this acclaimed story writer writes stories in the very newest genre, flash fiction, set along the US Mexican border. I hope the Bay Area will have a chance to hear him soon.

The afternoon ended with Adrian Arias's comments about my poems. "Nina has the power" he said, "to connect reality with dreams, childhood with activism…" Quoting from my poem "All My Life There Has Always Been a War " in my book, Heart Strong, Selected Poems 2000-2012 (page 134), he read...

At five, my first movie
There were men on horses killing each other
lots of men and lots of noise
lots of dust from horses hooves
It was the Frontier War to own America
but I didn't like the killing
I left the dark theater
But the killing never stopped

"The simplicity of some poems," Arias continued, "transports me into profound concepts." He read an excerpt from my poem, "Gravity." (p.45, Heart Strong)

My shoe, me and an elephant
obey the law of gravity
it is not a question of will, instinct or hunger
it is our basic condition

As the event closed down, I basked in the glow of the timeliness and relevance of PEN Oakland, it's working class “Blue collar” point of view and emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism. While the chairs were stacked and books packed, the city prepared for more nights of protests and demands for social justice and equality.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 


In the Land of the Headhunters: British Columbia's first feature film celebrates 100 years
Fiesta in San Miguel de Allende - Dancers, photos by David Bacon
Navajo Nation buys ceremonial masks at Paris auction, rescues masks 


In the Land of the Headhunters: British Columbia's first feature film celebrates 100 years

Wasp, Thunderbird and Grizzly Bear dancers perform in the bows of the three canoes as the groom's party approaches the village of the bride's father. Photograph by Edward Schwinke. 
IN THE LAND OF THE HEAD HUNTERS (1914). (Images courtesy of Milestone Films)

1914 drama documentary was made in collaboration with Kwakwaka'wakw people 
of Vancouver Island
By Elaine Chau, CBC News 
Posted: Dec 05, 2014

In the Land of the Headhunters, the first feature film made in B.C. — and the oldest existing feature film made in Canada — celebrates 100 years this Sunday.

The film was made in 1914 by Edward Curtis, an ethnologist and photographer, in collaboration with the Kwakwaka'wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) people of northern Vancouver Island.

The film was the first feature made with an entirely indigenous North American cast and mixed drama and documentary to record the traditions and rituals of the Kwakwaka'wakw people.  Film historian Colin Browne first saw the film 20 years ago.  

"The idea of the film is that it takes place before any Europeans arrive. These are completely contemporary people in 1914, but they were making a costume drama as if it was 1770."

The guests enter Kenada's house through the Raven's open mouth. This concept of a door as a devouring mouth appears in Kwakwaka'wakw myths and was used by Curtis and the Kwakwaka'wakw set builders. IN THE LAND OF THE HEAD HUNTERS (1914). (Images courtesy of Milestone Films)

Bill Cranmer is the hereditary chief of the N'amgis First Nation. His great aunt and uncle were the stars of the film.

"Just to see what they looked like in 1914 was a really great feeling. Seeing the old people as they were, some of the scenes in the film brings us back to the stories told to us by our parents."

The film was unique in its collaboration. The Kwakwaka'wakw people made the costumes and a few helped out on set.  Despite tense race relations at the time, there was a strong partnership between director Edward Curtis and the people he filmed.


The wedding party in Kenada's house after going through the Raven's open mouth. IN THE LAND OF THE HEAD HUNTERS (1914). (Images courtesy of Milestone Films)

In the Land of the Headhunters screened at Vancouver's PacificCinematheque at 6.30 p.m. PT on both Friday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 6.  A centennial screening took place at 7 p.m. PT on Sunday, Dec. 7, at Vancouver's Vancity Theatre and included a discussion about the film's storied history with Colin Browne and Bill Cranmer.

*If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this message, please retain this credit.

UBCIC's Protecting Knowledge Conference site: 
Source: First Peoples Human Rights Coalition
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Photos by David Bacon


For three days during the town fiesta of San Miguel de Allende indigenous dance groups converge here, and dance through the streets from morning until late at night.  Costumes celebrate everything from religious symbols to mythologized history to a common bond with the culture of native peoples north of the U.S. border.  Almost 40% of San Miguel residents are Otomi and 20% Nahua, but the dances are performed by groups from all over Mexico.
Indigenous people in Izcuinapan, the original native community located here, had a long history of resistance to the Spanish colonizers.  Guamare and Chichimeca people attacked the first Spanish settlement, and the Spanish viceroy was eventually forced to recognize a limited independence for the indigenous people here. 

THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog 

EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE: Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall 
Youtube interview about the show with Alfonso Caraveo (Spanish) 

The Real News: Putting off Immigration Reform Angers Grassroots Activists 

David Bacon Interviews Dyanna Taylor, Granddaughter of Documentary Photographer Dorothea Lange 

David Bacon radio review of the movie, Cesar Chavez 

Interviews with David Bacon about his new book, The Right to Stay Home:

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center 

KPFK - Uprisings with Sonali Kohatkar 

KPFA - Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert 

Photoessay: My Studio is the Street 

Photoessay: Mexico City marches against NAFTA and to protect its oil and electricity 

Nativo Lopez dialogues with David Bacon on Radio Hermandad 

The Real News: Immigration Reform Requires Dismantling NAFTA and Respecting Migrants' Rights/ Immigrant Communities Resist Deportations 

Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration (Beacon Press, 2013) 

Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008 

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006) 

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

For more articles and images, see
Navajo Nation buys ceremonial masks at Paris auction, rescues masks 
Navajo delegation calls repatriation efforts a success.

“These masks are spiritual beings and the Navajo people have strong connections with them. We need to regard them as such,” Vice President Rex Lee Jim said.

By Navajo Nation
Censored News

PARIS—The Navajo delegation on a mission to Paris, led by Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee Jim was successful in their repatriation efforts of sacred Navajo masks that went on sale at an auction house by bidding and outright purchasing all seven sacred Navajo masks.

“This was a very delicate mission,” Vice President Rex Lee Jim said at the conclusion of the auction. “We are happy to be taking these Navajo sacred masks home to be cleansed by our Navajo medicine people, who will determine when these masks will be used in our wintertime ceremonies,” he said.

The Navajo delegation arrived in Paris France on Friday. Upon arrival, the delegation wanted to verify the masks as being of Navajo origin. In a private ceremony held at the Drouot Auction House, the vice president offered sacred Navajo prayers for the masks, believed to be authentically of the early 1900s.

“In our prayers and songs to these sacred Navajo beings, we spoke and our deities know that we do care. Our ceremony was a way to reconnect with them and to let them know that we are here to take them home. We did not forget them. We care about who we’re taught to be—Diné. It’s a way to communicate with the inner beings of these sacred masks,” the vice president said.

In bringing awareness while in a foreign country, the vice president said there is an urgent need to understand that nationally and internationally and out of respect for one another’s cultures and ceremonies, and respect for human dignity and diversity that, “we all need to be aware that there are certain sacred beings that we should never, ever sell. In this case, one cannot imagine selling other peoples sacred beings. These masks are living, breathing beings,” the vice president added.

“These masks are spiritual beings and the Navajo people have strong connections with them. We need to regard them as such,” Vice President Rex Lee Jim said.

The Navajo delegation offers gratitude for the tremendous support from those who have stepped forward urging Eve auction house to halt the sale until Navajo and other tribal representatives can view and authenticate the masks. They thank United States Ambassador Jane Hartley, and officials for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “This was a government to government cooperation, and we are grateful,” said the vice president before leaving Paris.

The Navajo delegation returns to Window Rock, Ariz., Tuesday.
Posted by 



The de Riberas of Spain, Chapter 2 by Michael S. Perez
America’s Hispanic Evangelical Christians Growing and Support the Jewish State
Sephardic vogue, Argentine immigrants fueling Jewish revival in Spain
Stories By Andy Porras: Gilberto Bosquez Saldivar Aristides de Sousa Mendes
The Conquistadores and Crypto-Jews of Monterrey by David T Raphael
A Guide to the World's Most Jewish City Outside of Israel: New York

Genie’s Gifts: How I Found My 15 Grandmothers/Como Encontre Mis 15 Abuelas”

The de Riberas of Spain 

by Michel S. Perez 

Family Surnames on the author's pedigree with whom the Riberas married:  
Abeyta    Aguilar    Candelaria
    Canela    Ceballes    Crispin    Cruz    Gurulé    Martin   
Labadía    Pacheco    Palomino    Pena    Ortiz    Quintana    Rendon    Sena    Sosa

The de Riberas of Spain are a reflection of the Spain’s complexity and history.  The Second Chapter, “
De Riberas’ Ladies and Gentlemen of the Bank Family Lines” describes how the family name was derived (de Ribera), adopted, and used by various families.  Their contributions to Spain’s Old World and New World are offered as a way to explain the progression of a family and a people (Spaniards) over centuries of growth and turmoil.

I’ve taken an opportunity to expand upon the theme of the Iberian Peninsula’s diverse people, their history, and the challenges they had driving the African-Islamic Moors out of Iberia.  The story of the de Riberas is also the story of what emerged from Iberia to eventually become a Nation-State, Christian Spain.  Unless one understands the oppression and slavery suffered by the Christian Iberians at the hands of the Moors, one cannot understand the Spanish as an Empire.  They truly believed that they had a mission from God, to spread Christianity throughout the world, both by the cross and by the sword.  To be sure there were excesses and these should not be forgotten.

The de Riberas are an example of a family with a surname which became many families of different ethnic backgrounds with the same surname.  The course of history, politics, and religion determined the changes which took place and created these unique family lines.  Many served in positions of power and eventually rose to become the elite of Spain.  The Sephardic Jewish de Ribera’s, rose to power through commerce and joined the ranks of the Converso (Converted Christian) Jews and intermarried into Spanish nobility.  Later, many were forced from Spain by the Catholic monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabela) and endured centuries of persecution and death at the hands of the Catholic Church’s Inquisition.  As the chapter suggests, one can be a Spaniard of Germanic, Celtic, Basque, or Jewish origin and still be a de Ribera.  This is due to intermarriage and out of wedlock offspring carrying a Spanish surname once recognized.  Therefore, one de Ribera can be different ethnically and or racially from another de Ribera.

The following provides a methodology for construction and transmission of a name over time.  It does not, however, provide the ethnic or racial origin of those carrying the name in whatever form.

In Spain, a person's name consists of a given name (simple or composite) followed by two family names (surnames).  The first surname is usually the father's first surname, and the second the mother's first surname.  In recent years, the order of the surnames can be reversed at birth if it is so decided by the parents.

Currently in Spain, people bear a single or composite given name (nombre) and two surnames (apellidos).  A composite given name comprises two (not more) single names; for example Juan Pablo is considered not to be a first and a second forename, but a single composite forename. Traditionally, a person's first surname is the father's first surname (apellido paterno), and the second one is the mother's first surname (apellido materno).

In the generational transmission of surnames, the paternal surname’s precedence eventually eliminates the maternal surnames from the family lineage.  However, contemporary law allows the maternal surname to be given precedence.

In Spanish, the preposition particle de (“of”) is used as a conjunction in two surname spelling styles, and to disambiguate a surname.  The first style is in patronymic and toponymic spelling formulae, e.g. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, Pedro López de Ayala, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa, as in many conquistador names.

Unlike in French, the Spanish spellings of surnames containing the prepositional particle de are ambiguous without a preceding patronymic, an orthographic style common to noble surnames, thus, the lower-case spellings de la Rúa (“of the street") and de la Torre (“of the tower”) and the upper-case spellings De la Rúa and De la Torre are equally correct.  Without a patronymic, Juan Carlos de Borbón is the example.

Spaniards are a composite of many ethnic groups which entered the Iberian Peninsula over thousands of years.  Once settled, they remained apart for many generations, finally melding into one over the course of the reconquest and Spanish Empire years.  That is not to say that there are not many, many distinct differences and that those differences are not being challenged geographically and/or politically.  The following attempts to explain this view.

The Spanish people or Spaniards are a nation comprised of various ethnic groups now native to Spain.  As nation-state, Spain has a defined geographical area that is identified as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign nation.  It exists as a political and geopolitical entity, while as a nation it has a distinct cultural and ethnic reality.  The term "nation-state" implies that the two coincide, again Spain qualifies.  The concept of a nation-state can be compared and contrasted with that of the multinational state, city state, empire, confederation, and other state formations with which it may overlap.  The key distinction is the identification of a people with a polity in the "nation-state.

In the sense of an ethnic group or ethnicity, Spain is a, socially-defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience.  In this sense, Spain and its people qualify.  Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, myth of origins, history, homeland, language (dialect), or even ideology, and manifests itself through symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, physical appearance, etc.

  As described the Spanish share a common Spanish culture made up of many cultures, and speak the Spanish language.  The official language of Spain is Spanish (also known as Castilian), a standard language based on the mediaeval dialect of the Castilians of north-central Spain. There are several commonly spoken regional languages (mainly Basque, Catalan and Galician). With the exception of Basque, the languages native to Spain are Romance languages.

Within Spain there are a number of areas practicing their own form of nationalism and regionalism, reflecting the country's complex history.  There are substantial populations outside Spain with ancestors who emigrated from Spain; most notably in Hispanic-America.

  I hope you enjoy the chapter.  Once again I must say thank you to those many, many sources found on the Internet. 

   Editor Mimi: Michael has done extensive genealogical family research and placed his ancestors within the history, culture, and 
   traditions of those epochs.  I am proud of Michael and happy to share his writings.   Do look at The House of Aragon series,
   under Los Angeles.  The House of Aragon is another family line which Michael has researched and honored by writing a historic

Evangelical Christians from around the world wave their national flags along with Israeli flags as 
they march in a parade in Jerusalem to mark the Feast of Tabernacles . (photo:JNS.ORG)

Hispanic Evangelicals Among Israel's greatest supporter

Hispanic Evangelical Christians

and Support the Jewish State

Against the backdrop of growing threats facing Israel at home and abroad, one of the fastest-growing ethnoreligious segments in the U.S. is stepping up its support for the Jewish state.

At the forefront of the interests of America’s Hispanic Evangelical Christian population is the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/Conela. Claiming to represent more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals in the U.S., NHCLC/Conela is now beginning to wield its considerable influence for the purpose of standing up for Israel.

NHCLC—which earlier merged with Conela, a Latin American organization that serves more than 500,000 Latin churches across the world—states that its vision is to “exercise prophetic leadership by reconciling the vertical and horizontal planes of the Christian message, sanctification with service, conviction with compassion, the image of God with the habits of Christ, holiness and humility, John 3:16 and Matthew 25, and the prophetic with the practical.”

The organization adds that it is looking to “enrich the narrative of American Evangelicalism by replacing the media exacerbated image of angry white evangelicals who oppose everything to a convicted yet compassionate multi-ethnic kingdom culture community committed to sharing truth with love.”

“We seek to combine the message of Rev. Bill Graham of salvation with that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march of prophetic activism,” Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of NHCLC/Conela said. 

“That being said, our commitment to the Jewish people and Israel is also without compromise.” he said.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Hispanics are one of the fastest-growing segments of the Evangelical Christian population, with 16 percent of American Hispanics identifying as Evangelical in 2013, up from 12 percent in 2010. Similar trends have developed in Latin America, where Protestants now make up 19 percent of the population, with 69 percent of them belonging to Evangelical churches. 

These “Evangelicos” have an above-average enthusiasm for their faith. They display this fervor by attending church services, praying more, and strongly adhering to moral teachings, according to Pew. This Hispanic Evangelical surge has come at the expense of Roman Catholicism, which traditionally has been the faith of the vast majority of Hispanics and has historically shaped their outlook.

As the leader of one of the largest Hispanic organizations in the U.S., Rev. Rodriguez has spoken at the White House and frequently consults with federal legislators from both parties on such issues as social justice, the Latino community, and values.

Support for Israel has become a key aspect of the mission of many Evangelical Christian organizations, as is the case for the Evangelical movement as a whole. While Rodriguez said that most Hispanic Evangelicals are “absolutely committed to Israel,” he is concerned about the surge in anti-Semitism in the Latino world, especially among the younger generation.

While Latin America is home to many large and prosperous Jewish communities, most anti-Semitism in the region comes from the traditional sources based on prejudices inherited from Europe, especially from the Spanish Inquisition, as well as modern anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric promoted by far-left elements like former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Rodriguez said the mainstream media’s portrayal of Israel is one of the main culprits behind opposition to Israel among the younger demographic, especially in light of the recent summer war in Gaza—which sparked upsurge in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks around the world, including in Latin America. 

“Many Latinos have in essence absorbed the mainstream media message that Israel is an aggressive, antagonistic force in the Middle East, where Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are suffering at the hands of Israel,” said Rodriguez.

“Most Hispanics want to do justice and they want to align themselves with those who are marginalized and suffering. So they see the Palestinian community as suffering at the hands of the Israeli government,” he said.

In order to combat this, Rodriguez has formulated a two-pronged approach. 

“My job is to convince young Latino people that supporting Israel actually works for the good of all in the Middle East,” he said. “First by affirming the nearly 150 million Latino Evangelicals across the world in their commitment to Israel, then by elevating what we currently have in our community to teach about Israel to the wider Latino community.” 

In order to spread this message, Rodriguez said it is important to “speak the truth about Israel” in order to counter the lies being spread about the Jewish state in the mainstream media.

“Israel is the sole democracy in that part of the world and a safeguard for religious pluralism.… When I go to Israel I meet with Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders. Israel is not persecuting Christians and Muslims. Israel is providing a space under democracy for religious pluralism to serve as an antidote against secular or even religious totalitarianism. Israel is not the problem, Israel is the solution,” he said.

NHCLC/Conela recently formed a partnership with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), one of the largest Christian Zionist organizations in the world. Since 1980, ICEJ has hosted the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem to coincide with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. This year, the event drew more than 5,000 Christians from 80 countries.

Rodriguez sees the partnership with ICEJ and the Feast of Tabernacles as a rallying point for Hispanic Evangelicals to come to Israel every year and experience the country. 

“The Evangelical movement has experienced tremendous growth in the Latino world over recent decades and it is exciting to see their support and enthusiasm for Israel,” ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Juergen Buehler said.

“It is an indigenous expression of solidarity based on solid biblical grounds, and we are thrilled that our annual Feast of Tabernacles will be a channel for these Hispanic Christians to convey their love and concern directly to the Israeli people,” added Buehler.

In light of the recent surge of Palestinian terrorism and rioting in Jerusalem and across Israel, Rodriguez said that Israel and Jews can count on the support of Hispanic Evangelicals.

“My message to Israel and the Jewish people is that there is a Hispanic Christian community emerging that will not abandon Israel or the Jewish people,” he said. “We will build a firewall against anti-Semitism, and we will do that with integrity and compassion.”

Sephardic vogue, Argentine immigrants fueling 
Jewish revival in Spain
By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA

Ahuvah (Amanda) Gipson, left, and other members of the Bet Januka congregation located at Naval Station Rot in southern Spain, July 30, 2014.(Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA)
Ahuvah (Amanda) Gipson, left, and other members of the Bet Januka congregation located at 
Naval Station Rota in southern Spain, July 30, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz)  

The promise of citizenship for Jews of Sephardi ancestry coupled with the arrival of Argentinian Jews escaping economic collapse are reanimating Jewish life in Spain. 

ROTA, Spain (JTA) — While setting up a synagogue at the American naval base where she volunteers, Ahuvah (Amanda) Gipson made something of a bitter-sweet discovery. Rifling through a storage area at the sprawling American-Spanish military complex Naval Station Rota in 2012, Gipson, a former naval outreach professional who now teaches off base, found three dusty Torah scrolls and a dismantled 4-foot Hanukkah menorah.

The objects were all that remained from a community that American Jews serving at Rota established many years ago, but which fell apart after they shipped out.
Setting up a durable congregation on a military base is difficult because of frequent turnover, but nearly three years later, Gipson’s 15-member Bet Januka community — a name referencing the found menorah — is still going strong, largely because many congregants now are local Jews.
“We’re small, but we’re here to stay,” Gipson said. “It’s kind of like the bigger story, but on slightly smaller scale.”

The bigger story is the rapid growth of Jewish life in Spain, once home to one of the world’s largest and most accomplished Jewish communities but which has had only a modest Jewish presence since the expulsion in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Nowhere is the growth felt more strongly than in Madrid, home to Spain’s largest Jewish community of some 12,000 members, where six of the capital’s seven synagogues have opened in the last decade. Bet Januka is one of six Reform communities founded across the country since 2007.

“[It's] a phenomenal regeneration not only in interest in Judaism, but also in the level of encouragement from the government,” said Leslie Bergman, president of the European Union for Progressive Judaism.

Locals say the process is being driven by a number of factors, including a supportive government and the arrival of thousands of Argentine Jews who were driven to Spain by the financial crisis of the 2000s and earlier by the Dirty War, the reign of political terror in the 1970s. Prior to their arrival, the Jewish community was constituted overwhelmingly by a small group of Orthodox Jews of Moroccan descent.

“The small community of Moroccan Jews that lives here and runs the Orthodox synagogue is pretty low-profile,” said David Pozo Perez, president of the Reform congregation Beit Rambam in Seville, who was born in Spain and is married to an Argentine. “They aren’t very big on the cultural activities that Argentinian Jews are used to from home. And so the Argentinians’ desire to re-create such an environment gave a big push to setting up social frameworks, activities and also Reform synagogues.”

But Spain’s so-called Jewish revival is also being fueled by processes outside the Jewish community.
Following Portugal’s lead, Spain this year introduced legislation that may make many Jews of Sephardic descent eligible for citizenship, a measure officials described as a form of atonement for the expulsion of Jews during the Inquisition. Along with a host of public initiatives to celebrate Spain’s rich Jewish heritage, the law has helped foster the growth of local Jewish communities.

“It isn’t affecting the growth of communities directly, [but] it certainly helps generate a climate that is more positive to Judaism and conducive to strengthening communities,” said David Hatchwell, president of the Jewish Community of Madrid. “When rural municipalities with hardly any Jews celebrate Sukkot and Hanukkah in festivals, it encourages Jews to also celebrate their tradition more proudly than before.”

In addition to encouraging Jews to celebrate their faith, the initiatives to highlight Spain’s Sephardic heritage is drawing out the anusim, the descendants of Jews forced to convert to Christianity during the Inquisition. While only some of them formally convert, many more attend and even organize Jewish-themed events in the Spanish and Portuguese countryside.

The rural festivals have also made it easier for small Jewish communities like Rota’s to access municipal resources that facilitate community-building. Rota’s municipality, for example, allows Bet Januka to make use of a community center in the city’s center, which is more convenient than dealing with security procedures at the base.

All the processes reshaping Jewish life in Spain were on display during a recent Havdalah ceremony at the center.
“This scene probably wouldn’t have been possible 15 years ago,” said Jose Manuel Fernandez, a retired police officer who is in the process of converting to Judaism with his wife after learning he was descended from anusim.

“The Argentinians were not here yet,” he said, “and I’m not sure the municipality would’ve necessarily let us be here.”
Read more:

 Source: The Sephardi World Weekly, American Sephardi Federation

Stories By Andy Porras, Gilberto Bosquez Saldivar, Aristides de Sousa Mendes

World War II Act by Mexican Diplomat Deserves Recognition and Respect: 
He lived to be past 100 years. His diplomatic skills saved thousands of Jewish lives. And he died on a Fourth of July. He was a Mexican. Who was he?
Gilberto Bosquez Saldivar, who lived for 103 years and passed on July 4,1995.

Many of us may have learned in history that during World War II, the Jewish economy had collapsed or was in ruin as part of the Nazi-Germany’s “Aryanization” policy. Human suffering was a worst story as the Nazis encouraged racial riots then moved on to larger mass killings followed by sending millions of Jewish victims to gas chambers.  Few of us, however, recognize Saldivar’s name, whom some some called “the Mexican Schindler.” Perhaps a misnomer, for Saldivar was responsible for securing safe passage for more than 40,000 Jews. Forty-thousand, it’s not a typo.

War Hero Who Saved More Lives Than Schindler Remembered at Last 
Portugal at last has its own World War II hero, even though it stayed out of the conflict. Aristides de Sousa Mendes saved thousands of people -- more than those helped by Oskar Schindler.  Spain was sympathetic to the Axis powers. While it gave few visas for extended stays, it issued transit visas for anyone who had permission to enter Portugal. As the Germans approached, Sousa Mendes moved south to Bayonne and continued issuing visas until Portugal’s ambassador in Madrid went to France and ordered him to stop. 

Numbers Saved:   Estimates of the number of refugees he saved go to as many as 30,000. The documents Sousa Mendes issued may have applied to that many, though the refugees who reached safety before the blocking of French-Spanish border crossings probably numbered closer to 10,000, Afonso said. (Schindler saved almost 1,200).   

Juan Marinez


by David T Raphael. 

Monterrey, among the cities of Mexico, has a mystique all its own, marked by an enduring and controversial “Jewish question” regarding its founding in 1596. Vito Alessio Robles, the eminent Saltillo scholar early on stated that “all the citizens of Monterrey descend from Jews.” After a public outcry Alessio Robles had to retract his statement. This book reviews the claim that many of the first settlers of Monterrey were indeed of Jewish descent. The author focuses primarily on the De La Garza family and establishes beyond a doubt that they were conversos, New Christians from original Jewish families, sometimes labeled Crypto-Jews if they lapsed back to practicing their Jewish faith in secret, the persons pursued by the Inquisition.

He claims through new archival research that ancestors of the Garza’s were burned at the stake in the 1526 Auto de fé held in the Canary Islands. In this work, the saga of the principal figures in the Monterrey region during the formative era-Luis de Carvajal, Alberto del Canto, Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, Diego de Montemayor, Francisco Báez de Benavides and Captain Joseph Martínez family of Marin-are presented against the backdrop of the ongoing settlement efforts and battles with the native Indians. 

Of Note: On the Somos Primos website, One can find the Genealogical compilation by John Inclan, on the early FIRST FAMILIES of Nuevo Leon.
Collection of many Youtube videos on the subject of the historic and current presence in the lineage of most Spanish heritage individuals. 

Mexico, los descdendientes judios de Monterrey

Sent by Tom Saenz


By Laila Caron., November 21, 2014

1. The first Jews to set foot in North America arrived in New York as a group of 23 in 1654.

2. Congregation Shearith Israel, founded in New York in 1654, was the first synagogue in the colonies. It was the sole purveyor of kosher meat until 1813.

3. By the late 19th century, there were over 5,000 kosher butchers and 1,000 slaughterers in New York.

4. In 1902, the Beef Trust raised the price of kosher meat on the Lower East Side from 12 to 18 cents per pound. After butchers’ boycotts proved ineffectual, 20,000 Lower East Side women stole meat from kosher butcher shops and set it on fire on the streets in protest. The Forward supported their efforts, running the headline “Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Jewish women!”

5. On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire claimed the lives of 146 garment workers, the majority of whom were Jewish immigrants. Reporting on the tragedy, the Forverts wrote that ‘the disaster is too great, to dreadful, to be able to express one’s feelings.”

6. When entertainer Al Jolson came to New York City at age 14, he held jobs in the circus and as a singing waiter. Born to a cantor, Jolson’s career took off when he began performing in blackface.

7. In 1903, the Lower East Side Chinese and Jewish communities formed an unlikely partnership when Chinese organizers put on a benefit for Jewish victims of the Kishinev pogrom, raising $280.

8. In 1930, there were over 80 pickle vendors in the Lower East Side’s thriving Jewish pickle scene. The briney delights were brought to America in the mid-19th century by German Jewish immigrants.

9. The egg cream is thought to have been invented by the Jewish owner of a Brooklyn candy shop. Musician Lou Reed was a famous admirer of the frothy drink.

10. From the beginning of the 20th century till the close of World War II, the Lower East Side’s 2nd Avenue was known as the Yiddish Theater District, or the Jewish Rialto. It extended from 2nd Avenue to Avenue B, and from 14th Street to Houston. Considered Broadway’s competitor, the Jewish Rialto was home to a variety of productions including burlesque and vaudeville shows, as well as Shakespearean, Jewish and classic plays, and were all in Yiddish.

11. The Jewish Rialto’s most popular haunt was the Cafe Royal on Second Avenue and 12th Street, where one could find performers such as Molly Picon and Charlie Chaplin sharing blintzes.

12. Pushcarts were all the rage among Jewish vendors on the Lower East Side from the turn of the century until 1940, when Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia banned their use. Jewish pushcart operators sold everything from vegetables to cigars to stockings.

13. At Sammy’s Roumanian Steak House on Chrystie and Delancey, every table is provided with a bottle of chicken fat as a condiment; resident emcee Dani Luv entertains diners with renditions of Jewish standards and punchy Borsht Belt humor.

14. One of the first kosher Chinese restaurants in New York was Moshe Peking, whose all-Chinese waitstaff wore yarmulkes.

15. The Second Avenue Deli opened in 1954 in the then-fading Yiddish Theater District. It featured a Yiddish Walk of Fame on the sidewalk outside its original location on Second Avenue and Tenth Street, and served up such Jewish specialties as matzo ball soup and corned beef. In 2007, it closed and reopened in Murray Hill.

16. Famed music club CBGB was opened in 1973 by Jewish founder Hilly Kristal.

17. Mayor La Guardia, who served for three terms from 1934 to 1945, was born to a Jewish mother and descended from Rabbi Samuel David Luzzatto, but practiced as an Episcopalian. 18. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was named in honor of the Jewish U.S. senator, who served from 1957 to 1981.

19. Sig Klein’s Fat Men’s Shop opened in the late 1800s at 52 Third Ave., and carried plus-sized clothes for men. Its sign featured the slogan: “If everyone was fat there would be no war.”

20. Abraham Beame was the first practicing Jew to become mayor of New York. He held office from 1974 to 1977.

21. The popular and proudly Jewish mayor Ed Koch, who served from 1978 to 1989, was known for the phrase “How’m I doing?” which he would ask passersby while standing on street corners or riding the subway. Newsday called him the “ultimate New Yorker.”

22. The erection of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 catalyzed a Jewish exodus from the Lower East Side to Southside Williamsburg. Crossing the bridge on foot, the LES’s Jews left in search of better living conditions.

23. By 1930, more than 40% of New York City’s Jews lived in Brooklyn.

24. Jewish-fronted band The Ramones formed in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens in 1974.

25. Allen Ginsberg moved to New York to attend Columbia in 1943. He was purportedly related to seminal Zionist thinker Ahad Ha’am.

26. Poet and kabbalist Lionel Ziprin entertained visitors including Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, and Bob Dylan in his Lower East Side living room, expounding for hours on Jewish esoterica and history.

27. The bagel originated in Poland, and arrived in New York City in the 1880s in the hands of Eastern European Jewish immigrants.

28. Three hundred all-Jewish New York bagel craftsmen formed a trade union in the early 1900s, the Bagel Bakers Local 338, which established standards for bagel production and conducted meetings in Yiddish.

29. In December 1951, New York City was hit with what The New York Times termed the “bagel famine,” when a dispute between the members of the Bagel trade union and the Bagel Bakers association led to the closing of 32 out of 34 of the city’s bagel bakeries.

30. As a result of the bagel outage, the sale of lox dropped nearly 50%. Murray Nathan, who helped resolve an earlier lox strike in 1948, was brought in to mediate the situation. The outage lasted until February.

31. Coney Island Bagels and Bialys, the oldest kosher bagel shop in New York, was set to close in 2011 until two Muslim businessmen, Peerzada Shah and Zafaryab Ali, bought the store and promised to keep it kosher. Ali had previously worked at the shop for 10 years.

32. Lou Reed was born in Brooklyn, and in 1989 released an album whose title, “New York,” paid tribute to the city.

33. In a reinterpretation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” Lou Reed asked the four questions at the Downtown Seder at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in 2004.

34. Musician Lenny Kaye was born in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in 1946. He met Patti Smith while working at Village Oldies on Bleecker Street and went on to become a member of the Patti Smith Group.

35. Starting in the 1970s, hundreds of thousands of Jews left the Soviet Union for New York, many settling in Brighton Beach, which came to be known as “Little Odessa.”

36. Established in 1927, Kehila Kedosha Janina at 280 Broome St. is the last remaining Greek Jewish synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.

37. Streit’s Matzo Company, the last remaining neighborhood matzo factory, stands at 148-150 Rivington St.

38. The oldest Orthodox Jewish Russian congregation in the United States, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, is still active at 60 Norfolk St.

39. On the corner of Essex and Rutgers, down the street from the original Forverts building on Seward Park, the Garden Cafeteria served as a gathering place for Jewish actors, artists and playwrights such as Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer from 1941 to 1983. It became Wing Shing, a Chinese restaurant, in 1985, and now houses Reena Spaulings Fine Art.

40. Seward Park on the Lower East Side was created in 1900. New immigrants worked in the park’s artisan market, and on special occasions such as elections, thousands gathered in the park to watch the Forverts’s flashing news sign in Yiddish.

41. Jewish gangs rose to prominence during the Prohibition; at a conference in New York in 1931, Jewish gangsters agreed to partner with Italian Americans, and together remained the most dominant groups in organized crime until several decades after WWII.

42. After an appeal from a New York judge, Nathan Perlman, Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky and members of Murder Inc. broke up Nazi rallies around the city for over a year, with the one stipulation that there be no killing.

43. Lines of a sonnet by Sephardic poet Emma Lazarus, who was born in New York City in 1847, are inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

44. The house that stands at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn is the center and spiritual home of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Formerly inhabited by Chabad’s late leader Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Lubavitchers have built replicas of the building all over the world to serve as movement outposts.

45. The first Reform congregation in New York City, Temple Emanu-El, was founded in 1845 by 33 mostly German Jews, and moved to its present location in 1929. Members have included Joan Rivers and Michael Bloomberg.

46. As large numbers of German Jews fleeing Nazi persecution made their homes in Washington Heights in the mid-1930s, the area was dubbed “Frankfurt on the Hudson.” [Also called by the German Jewish emigres themselves, 'The Fourth Reich.']

47. Sweet ‘n’ Low was invented in 1957 in Brooklyn by Benjamin Eisenstaedt.

48. Bronx-born Milton Glaser designed the “I[Image removed by sender. Black heart (cards)]NY” logo in 1977.

49. Eight hasidic dynasties are headquartered in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.

50. Outside of Israel, New York City is home to the largest population of Jews in the world.

51. As of 2011, 1 in 6 households in New York were Jewish.

Sent by Bill Carmena


Do click for information on a book tracing roots back 15 generations to Jewish roots. 
Genie’s Gifts:
How I Found My 15 Grandmothers/Como Encontre Mis 15 Abuelas”




Port Royal, Kingston Hrbor, Jamaica

Home to prostitutes and pirates, Port Royal used to be the “Wickedest City on Earth”. Founded in 1518, it was a notorious port city and popular abode for English and Dutch privateers until their governments cancelled their commissions to confiscate Spain’s ships. As the privateers became pirates, the port became the hotspot for pirates from as far away as Madagascar. Destroyed and sunk in part after an earthquake in 1692, excavations have yielded historical documents, various buildings, thoroughfares and actual preserved food. Various plans are in the pipeline to redevelop the town into a main tourist destination.








La Capilla de Ojo Zarco
El Historiador Silvio Zavala
12 de Diciembre, se celebra a Virgen de Guadalupe
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico descendent of King Ferdnand II by John Inclan
La Biblioteca Daniel Cosio Villegas
Asunto: La Familia Carvajal y EL Relato visual de lo prodigioso guadalupano
Libro de Defunciones de Parras, Coahuila. Año de 1846
Juan Fernandez Posible Descrubridor de Nuava Zelanda por José Antonio Crespo-Francés 
General Don Vicente Riva Palacio
Hacienda de Pozo Hondo, Matrimonio de Casimiento de Indios, Teodoro Garcia y Agapita Albarez

La Capilla de Ojo Zarco
Originally the home of an eponymous crucifix, this is the largest of the Ixtla chapels. 
Also referred to as El Templo del Barrio, it is built on a raised platform of possible prehispanic origin.

Exploring Colonial Mexico   Sent by Richard Perry

Rodrigo Martínez Baracs
Dirección de Estudios Históricos, INAH

El viernes 5 de diciembre de este año de 2014 falleció en la ciudad de México el gran historiador mexicano don Silvio Zavala, nacido hace más de 105 años en Mérida, Yucatán, el 7 de febrero de 1909. Junto con Edmundo O’Gorman y Miguel León-Portilla, Silvio Zavala fue uno de los historiadores mexicanos más importantes del siglo XX. Imposible resumir aquí su inmensa labor como historiador, editor, maestro y director de instituciones. Prefiero aprovechar un estudio anterior para centrarme en su aporte central a la comprensión de nuestra historia.

En sus estudios históricos, Silvio Zavala apuntó algunas ideas vitales para entender mejor el fenómeno todo del descubrimiento, la conquista y la colonización de México y de América por los españoles. Su primer libro, presentado como tesis de doctorado en Derecho en 1933 en la Universidad Central de Madrid, lo dedicó a Los intereses particulares en la Conquista de la Nueva España (Estudio histórico-jurídico). La idea ya había sido esbozada por Francisco A. de Icaza, en la introducción a su edición del Diccionario de conquistadores y pobladores de la Nueva España (inicialmente elaborado por Francisco del Paso y Troncoso), de 1925; pero Silvio Zavala la afirmó y desarrolló de manera sistemática con sus firmes conocimientos jurídicos: fueron los intereses particulares de los españoles, las voluntades individuales, sus capacidades empresariales ("semejante a sociedades modernas"), las que los llevaron a participar en el descubrimiento, la conquista y la colonización de América.

De esta manera Silvio Zavala estableció un cambio de paradigma (podría decirse que kuhniano) con respecto a la noción prevaleciente de que en la colonización de América, España avanzó por sucesivas decisiones, reales cedulas, de la Corona omnipotente. Este primer estudio de Silvio Zavala mostró que la historia de la conquista fue llevada a cabo no sólo por la voluntad de los reyes, encarnaciones mágicas y divinas de la Nación, sino por la libre actuación de personas, en un marco jurídico y económico de interacción.

Se invierte igualmente la perspectiva de la historia del derecho español. Las reales cédulas y los mandamientos virreinales ya no son vistos como emanaciones de la voluntad del rey o del virrey que lo deciden todo, sino como respuestas de las autoridades a los procesos que se van dando en la interacción de las acciones movidas por los intereses particulares. Las leyes españolas no determinan los hechos, interactúan con ellos. En los procesos de colonización, la voluntad del Rey deja de ser la protagonista de la historia, es sustituida por la historia de las múltiples acciones de los conquistadores y pobladores españoles de América, acciones que se mezclan dando lugar a una historia imprevisible que debe estudiarse en la especificidad de cada momento y lugar. Esta es la tarea de los historiadores, dotados de estas fuentes abundantísimas que son los documentos judiciales, de los que hay que aprender a sacar las verdades, los pedazos de verdad, de múltiples afirmaciones falsas o parciales e intencionadas.
La interacción entre los intereses particulares de los hombres se normaba en España y se siguió normando en la Nueva España por una legislación sumamente elaborada y pensada a lo largo de generaciones. El derecho español tenía su antecedente y base en el derecho romano, derecho civil, derecho de la interacción entre los intereses particulares de hombres libres. Esta perspectiva le dio una vitalidad dinámica particular a la historia del derecho durante el periodo hispánico de México, ya no un ordenado registro de leyes que se cumplen o no se cumplen, sino una interesante interacción entre los intereses particulares, mediada por los funcionarios judiciales de la Corona de acuerdo a una legislación y a un régimen económico específico.

Por eso estudió Silvio Zavala con gran detenimiento Las instituciones jurídicas en la conquista de América, en 1935, y su continuación es La encomienda indiana, del mismo año, y tiempo después La esclavitud indígena en la Nueva España, en 1968, que estudian las dos formas españolas de explotar a los indios más importantes en los primeros tiempos de la colonización. Un complemento son los estudios de Agustín Millares Carlo y José Ignacio Mantecón (1945 y 1946) y de José Miranda (1947) en el Archivo de Notarías de la ciudad de México, que documentaron la formación de "compañías" y tratos mercantiles en México desde 1525 o antes, en los que los encomenderos y esclavistas actuaban como empresarios capitalistas (con formas precapitalistas de explotación de los indios). La encomienda y la esclavitud cedieron su lugar en la segunda mitad del siglo XVI a otras formas de explotación de los indios, que estudió ampliamente Silvio Zavala en las series monumentales Fuentes para la historia del trabajo en Nueva España, de 1939-1946, y El servicio personal de los indios de la Nueva España, de 1984-1995, cada una de 8 volúmenes, y en otros estudios y compilaciones que abrieron el campo de la historia económica de México. Cada tomo, con sus orden riguroso y sus amplios índices analíticos se transforma en una verdadera computadora de papel, en una obra abierta, en la que el lector e investigador puede hacer sus propias navegaciones, hallazgos y conexiones.

En el énfasis histórico (y filosófico) en el actuar de hombres particulares y su interacción (mediada por el marco jurídico) se abre otra dimensión, la de la conciencia de los individuos, y sí, aquí en particular en las cortes y entornos del monarca, pues Silvio Zavala estudió en primer lugar los cuestionamientos, hechos por los intelectuales consejeros del rey, de la conquista de América y de la manera como se había llevado. En particular la cuestión del derecho español a conquistar y esclavizar a los indios y a obligarlos a trabajar para los españoles y a pagarles un tributo.
Silvio Zavala estudió con detenimiento la fase antillana (1492-1519), a la que calificó también de “experiencia antillana”, en la que la codicia de los españoles junto con las epidemias provocaron una gran mortandad de los habitantes de las islas, que prácticamente se extinguieron. De modo que de manera particular la experiencia antillana de la despoblación de las Indias resultó muy importante para la voluntad tanto del rey como de grandes conquistadores como Hernán Cortés y de muchos pobladores, de establecer en México una explotación relativamente moderada de los indios que evitara su destrucción, de establecer una verdadera convivencia entre indios y españoles, base de nuestro mestizaje.

Más adelante en el siglo XVI la discusión sobre el derecho español a esclavizar a los indios u obligarlos por otros medios a trabajar encontró una sólida base en la doctrina cristiana de la libertad individual, necesaria para escoger entre el bien y el mal. Esta idea la expuso Silvio Zavala en otro de sus grandes libros, La filosofía política en la conquista de América, de 1947, que inició una gran cantidad de estudios suyos de historia intelectual, que apuntó igualmente al énfasis en la acción particular de los individuos, dotados de intereses, sí, pero también de conciencia ética. Y en el caso de los indios, en la medida en que los españoles los vieron como seres humanos, también los concibieron como seres constituidos por su libertad individual, que por lo tanto los españoles no podían esclavizar ni forzar a trabajar, lo cual condujo a la abolición en 1549 del servicio personal como parte del tributo que daban los indios sometidos a la encomienda o al corregimiento, y a la abolición en 1551 de la esclavitud indígena. Como seres humanos conquistados pero libres, los indios fueron integrados como súbditos individuales del rey de España, e integrados a su sistema de justicia.

Bajo esta perspectiva del “liberalismo” español, cristiano, se confirmó en términos teológicos y filosóficos la importancia de los intereses y la conciencia individual tanto de indios como de españoles. Silvio Zavala dedicó una gran cantidad de eruditos estudios a los autores españoles que condenaron o criticaron la manera en que se realizaba la conquista y la colonización de la Nueva España, como fray Bartolomé de las Casas, fray Alonso de la Veracruz y Vasco de Quiroga, sobre el cual Silvio Zavala destacó en 1937 la influencia de la Utopía de Tomás Moro, de 1516, lo cual provocó una notable polémica con los historiadores Edmundo O'Gorman y Justino Fernández, en la que, me parece, salió vencedor Silvio Zavala.

Como se ve, un aporte histórico central en la obra de Silvio Zavala sobre México e Hispanoamérica es destacar la importancia de los intereses particulares, en el contexto económico definido por la conquista española, regulados por las instituciones del derecho hispánico y por la conciencia ética individual. No puede sino infundir respeto y agradecimiento considerar el gran legado de conocimientos e inteligencia que nos dejó Silvio Zavala.

Ciudad de México, lunes 8 de diciembre de 2014

Sent by Samuel Benicio Sanchez 

Historiadores y Genealogistas.

Hoy 12 de Diciembre, fecha que en nuestro País se celebra a " A LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE ", envío a Uds. estas imagenes del Santuario que lleva su nombre y que se localiza en la Calzada de Guadalupe del Barrio de San Sebastian de la Cd. de San Luis Potosí, S.L.P.; en el interior del Santuario se encuentra el nombre del Ingeniero Don Camilo Bros quien fué sepultado en esta el año de 1888 y del cual envío y transcribo la partida del Registro Civil de su defunción.

Fuentes. Family Search. Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los últimos Días.  
Investigó. Tte. Corl. Intdte. Ret. Ricardo Palmerín Cordero.
Miembro de Genealogía de México y de la Sociedad de Genealogía de Nuevo León.

Márgen izq. 259. Bros Camilo Pulmonía Marzo 31 76 años.

Acta Número docientos cincuenta y nueve 259= En la Ciudad de San Luis Potosí a los treinta y un 31= dias del mes de Marzo de mil ochocientos ochenta y ocho 1888. ante mi José de Jesus Cordero Juez primero del estado civil de esta capital, siendo las tres y cuarto 3 1/4= de la tarde compareció el Señor Enrrique Lopez Ulibarri casado de cuarenta y cinco 45= años comerciante originario y vecino de esta Ciudad, y dijo: que en la Calzada de Guadalupe falleció de Pulmonía á las nueve de la mañana de hoy el Señor Camilo Bros de setenta y seis 76 años ingeniero originario de Mexico, no indigena hijo legitimo del Señor Manuel Bros y de la Señora Doña Josefa ------ difuntos y viudo de Doña Manuela Fuentes. fueron testigos Braulio Amado Cordero soltero de veinte y tres 23= años empleado vecino en la primera 1a. Calle de la Alegria y Jesus Morales casado de treinta y siete 37= años empleado vecino de San Miguelito, ambos sin parentesco con el finado que se sepultó en sepultura particular por cinco 5= años en el Cementerio de Guadalupe. Levantada la presente acta se leyo á los concurrentes y estando conformes firmaron conmigo. Doy fé. José de Jesus Cordero Enrrique L. Ulibarri Jesus Morales Braulio A. Cordero.

Ingeniero Camilo Bros. Profesor del Colegio Militar.

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico
By John Inclan
King Ferdinand II (The Catholic Monarchs) - Isabella, Queen of Castile
Joanna (The Mad) de Castile & Aragon -  Philip von Hapsburg
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor -  Anna of Bohemia & Hungary
Charles von Hapsburg - Isabella of Portugal
Philip II von Hapsburg, King of Spain - Anna of Austria
Philip III von Hapsburg, King of Spain, Portugal - Margaret-of-Austria, Queen-of-Spain-&-Portugal
Philip IV von Hapsburg, King of Spain - Elizabeth of France, Queen of Spain
Maria-Teresa, Infanta of Spain & Portugal- Louis XIV, King of France
Louis, Grand-Dauphin-of-France - Maria-Anna-Victoria of Bavaria
Philip-V, King-of-Spain - Elizabeth Farnese-de-Parma
Charles III, House of Bourbon - Maria-Amalia of Saxony
Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicily - Archduchess-Maria-Carolina de Austria
Maria-Teresa, Princess-of-Naples-&-Sicily - Francis II, Holy-Roman-Emperor
Archduke-Franz-Karl of Austria - Sophie, Princess of Bavaria
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico

Sent by John Inclan 

La Biblioteca Daniel Cosio Villegas

Les informo que la Biblioteca Daniel Cosio Villegas ha puesto en servicio el sitio http://movimientosarmados.colmex.mxv  que incluye fuentes primarias para el estudio de los movimientos armados en México.
Saludos, Micaela Chávez Villa, Directora
Biblioteca Daniel Cosió Villegas
El Colegio de México 
Sent by Rogelio H Hinojosa 
Rogelio H Hinojosa, Acquisitions Librarian
Tel. (956) 326-2123   Fax (956) 326-2399
Sue & Radcliffe Killam Library
Texas A&M International University. KL 214C
5201 University Boulevard

Asunto: La Familia Carvajal y EL Relato visual de lo prodigioso guadalupano
Otra rama de La Familia Carvajal:

La formada por Don Antonio de Carvajal y Doña Catalina Vázquez de Tapia. Al parecer de ellos desciende Doña Juana Muñoz de Carvajal, hermana de quien fuera Rector de los hospitales de Santa Fe del Río y Santa Fe de la Laguna en Michoacán, y también Cura beneficiado en los partidos de Huaniqueo y Tiríndaro, también en Michoacán.

Doña Juana Muñoz de Carvajal y Don Francisco Enríquez de Silva fueron dos 
de los 4os. (Cuartos abuelos) del Cura Hidalgo). A este respecto se puede consultar la obra de Don Jesús Amaya Topete: "El Padre Hidalgo y los Suyos"UMSNH, 1952, Pág. 20.

En cuanto a D. Felipe Carvajal, podemos remitirles al la bibliografía existente sobre la JUNTA GUIBERNATIVA SUBALTERNA DE TARETAN, que dejaran los Jefes Insurgentes y el Supremo Congreso Nacional a su partida de Michoacán hacia Tehuacán.

A la captura de Morelos, éste lo menciona como el 3o. en importancia entre los principales Jefes Insurgentes que le sobreviven(Herrejón Peredo, Carlos)- Don Felipe tomó parte en el traslado de los restos de los Héroes Matamoros y Victor Rosales a la Colegiata de Guadalupe.

El nombre de Leonel de Cervantes (Carvajal) que también utiliza Riva Palacio en su Novela, recuerda al Obispo Leonel de Cervantes Carvajal, a quien se debe el primer edificio de La Catedral de Monterrey pues el Obispado de La Nueva Galicia abarcaba hasta aquellas tierras norteñas hacia 1630.  Riva Palacio Sabía de estas cosas pues, su abuelo el General Vicente Guerrero fue compañero de Armas de Don Felipe.

Casi todos los Personajes de la Novela"Martín Garatuza fueron reales, sólo que vivieron en tiempos diferentes y tuvieron otro perfil. 

Enrique Carvajal Ayala

Sent by Samuel Benecio Sanchez
* Nuestra pagina web oficial la encuentras en

El relato visual de lo prodigioso guadalupano en un grabado flamenco de principios de siglo XVII, por Beatriz Berndt León Mariscal. 

Beatriz Berndt León Mariscal, "El retalo visual de lo prodigioso guadalupano en un grabado flamenco de principios de siglo XVII", Boletín Guadalupano, Año V, núm. 69. Septiembre de 2006. Enlace a Boletín Guadalupano

La lámina con la cual se reprodujo esta estampa fue grabada por Samuel Stradanus, artista flamenco activo en la Nueva España en el primer cuarto del siglo XVII.

En este caso, se trata del grabado con iconografía guadalupana más antiguo que se conoce, si bien dicha condición se atribuyó durante mucho tiempo a las imágenes que ilustran la portada e interior del libro Imagen de la Virgen María madre de Dios de Guadalupe, milagrosamente aparecida en la ciudad de México [...].[1]

Tanto en la placa de cobre adquirida en Oaxaca durante el primer tercio del siglo XX por el señor Hans Behrens, como en esta estampa, se observan elementos tempranos -más determinantes- relativos a las soluciones de representación de la Patrona de México. 

Sostenida por un ángel a modo de atlante, la Virgen ya posee un manto de estrellas, el cuerpo está girado levemente hacia su derecha y las manos permanecen juntas. A diferencia de imágenes posteriores, la corona es diminuta, mientras que a la efigie le rodean variedad de ángeles -a manera de cabezas aladas- en lugar de rayos solares.

Al pie de la advocación mariana se registró el nombre del artífice, mientras que debajo se incluyó una larga inscripción en la que lee: El Ill[ustrísi]mo S[eñ]or Don Iuan de la Serna / Por la Gracia de Dios Y de la San / cta sede Apostolica, Archobispo de Mex[i]co del Consejo del Rey n[uest]ro Señor. La / Concede los Quarentadias de Indulgencias / que le son Concedidos por la Sancta Sede / Apostolica Y derecho a Qualquier Per: / sona que Reciuiere y tomare para si un / Trasumptodesta Imagen de la Virgen / Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y diere / la Limosna Aplicada Para la obra que se / Va haziendo de la Yglesia nueva en su S[ant]a casa / Y Ermita: a que todos los fieles deuenAyu: / dar por no tener con que le pueda / Acabar y ser la obra / tan Piadosa Y de la Virgen.

En la parte inferior del texto está el escudo arzobispal del don Juan de la Serna sostenido por dos ángeles, así como una leyenda en la cual se le desea al prelado "largo bienestar en compañía de esta imagen". En su libro La Estrella del Norte de México (1688), el jesuita Francisco de Florencia se refirió a los exvotos representados en las partes laterales de la estampa, así como a sus equivalentes pictóricos colgados en el antiguo Santuario de Guadalupe.

En el caso que nos ocupa, las ocho imágenes ponen a la vista la intervención de la Guadalupana en causas difíciles: muestran las circunstancias en que ocurrieron los prodigios -con la figura divina y la humana coincidentes en un mismo lugar-, dejan constancia de los milagros y sirven para agradecer los beneficios recibidos. Por su parte, las leyendas describen los hechos de manera sintética y emotiva. La estampa también muestra cómo los fieles cumplieron una promesa y dieron prueba de la devoción que sentían por la Virgen, pues le dedicaron exvotos o bien mandaron construir retablos (como don Andrés de Carbajal y Tapia tras recuperarse del terrible accidente que sufrió a caballo).

Al parecer, este último caso fue muy sonado en la Nueva España, pues apologistas guadalupanos como Miguel Sánchez, Luis Lasso de la Vega y el padre Florencia lo describieron en sus escritos. Dicho tema incluso mantuvo vigencia a lo largo del siglo XVIII, conforme muestra un óleo que forma parte de la colección del Museo de la Basílica de Guadalupe.[2]. Un noble español, de esta ciudad de México, llamado don Antonio Carbajal, yendo para Tollantzinco, llevó en su compañía otro joven pariente suyo. Habiendo pasado por el Tepeyácac, entraron un momento al templo y de prisa rezaron a la Virgen de Guadalupe para que los socorriera, defendiera y los hiciera llegar con bien adonde iban. Después que salieron, yendo ya en camino, el caballo en que iba el mancebo se medio cayó porque se enojó o porque algo lo asustó; partió violentamente y corrió por barrancos y peñascos, mientras que el muchacho tiraba del freno con todas sus fuerzas sin poder detenerlo.

Cuando los hallaron, el caballo se encontraba parado, con la cabeza baja, las rodillas dobladas y sin moverse, mientras que el joven estaba colgado de un pie, asido al estribo. Mucho se asombraron que estuviera vivo y sin lastimadura alguna. El joven relató que mientras se encontraba en peligro y a punto de morir, con todo su corazón invocó a la Madre purísima para que se apiadara de él y lo socorriera, e inmediatamente vi que ella misma, así como está aparecida en la preciosa imagen de nuestra Reina de Guadalupe, me socorrió y salvó: cogió del freno al caballo, que luego se paró y la obedeció y se inclinó, al parecer, delante de ella, doblando las rodillas, así como estaba al tiempo que habéis llegado. Por todo ello alabaron fervorosamente a la Señora del Cielo y luego siguieron su camino.[3]

El autor de la composición representó casi todas las escenas en interiores, salvo el suceso de Andrés de Carbajal y Tapia, ubicado en el recuadro superior derecho de la estampa. En la mayoría de los casos, reprodujo el altar de la imagen devota, con sus seis milagros colgados a lo alto, sus lámparas de aceite y un par de velas en candeleros.

Cabe subrayar que también se acentuó el carácter celestial de la Virgen, pues la imagen guadalupana permanece suspendida entre nubes. Conforme se advierte, la mayoría de los favores concedidos por esta advocación le ocurren a adultos y sólo en tres casos a niños; cinco de éstos se refieren a curaciones de enfermedades, dos a accidentes bien librados y uno a un hecho sobrenatural. En casi todos los recuadros aparecen testigos del prodigio, incluyéndose también personajes que recomendaron acudir a la Guadalupana.

A pesar de su trabajo minucioso, el grabador tuvo cierta dificultad para representar la perspectiva de algunos espacios cerrados. Sin embargo, esta limitación no contrarresta el carácter narrativo de las imágenes ni la emotividad de los oferentes, pues la devoción de quien expresa gratitud es un elemento sustancial en este tipo de obra.


* Historiadora del Arte por la Universidad Iberoamericana e investigadora de arte novohispano. Ha participado en la conformación de numerosas exposiciones temporales y ha publicado textos sobre arte en fuentes especializadas y de divulgación, entre las cuales se cuentan los catálogos de distintas exposiciones. Recientemente se editó su libro La investigación y la profesión del investigador en un museo de arte mexicano. Algunas consideraciones. Actualmente cursa el doctorado en Historia del Arte en la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UNAM.

+ Una primera versión de este comentario se incluyó en el catálogo de la exposición La reina de las Américas. Obras de Arte del Museo de la Basílica de Guadalupe. Catálogo de la exposición en el Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, enero - mayo 1997. Chicago: Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1996, pp. 106-107.

[1] Véase Miguel SÁNCHEZ, Imagen de la Virgen María madre de Dios de Guadalupe, milagrosamente aparecida en la ciudad de México [...]. México: Imprenta de la viuda de Bernardo Calderón, 1648.

[2] Se tiene noticia de que el propio Carbajal mandó hacer dos pinturas sobre el tema. Aunque no se tiene registro del par de lienzos, el asunto se representó posteriormente, acaso por la honda impresión que dejaron las reflexiones del padre Florencia en sus lectores. Véase el comentario de obra de Carmen de Montserrat ROBLEDO GALVÁN en La Reina de las Américas […], op. cit., pp. 108-109.

[3] La cita procede de la obra de Luis LASSO DE LA VEGA, HueiTlamahuizolticaomonexiti in ilhuicactlatocazihuapilli Santa MariaTotlaconantzin Guadalupe in nicanhueialtepenahuacMexicoItocayocanTepeyacac. México, Imprenta de Juan Ruiz, 1649 (traducción del texto en lengua náhuatl al castellano ahora en Testimonios históricos guadalupanos, compilación, prólogo, notas bibliográficas e índices de Ernesto de la TORRE VILLAR y Ramiro NAVARRO DE ANDA. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1982, pp. 300-301). 
Don Felipe Carvajal, cura de la insurgencia lleva los restos de Don Mariano Matamoros y Victor Rosales a la Colegiata de Guadalupe 



Genealogistas e Historiadores.

Genealogistas e Historiadores: Envío a Uds. las imágenes y transcripción de estos interesantes e importantes registros que localicé en el Libro de Defunciones de la Yglesia Parroquial de Santa María de las Parras del año de 1846.     

Romanus Pontifica Greg. 16.

En la Parroquial Yglesia de Santa Ma. de las Parras; á los veinte y ocho dias del mes de Agosto del año de mil ochocientos cuarenta y seis; Yo, el Pbro. José Franc°. Aragón Cura encargado, habiendo sabido la muerte del Santísimo Padre, el Sor. Gregorio XVI. verificada el dia 1°. de Junio del presente año, procedí ex officio, á hacer con la solemnidad posible, las Honras funerales, con Cruz alta, Pira, Mesa Plana, Vigilia y Misa cantada, y para constacia lo firmo. J. Franc°. Aragón.


En la parroquial Yglesia de Santa Maria de Parras á los doce dias del mes de Noviembre del año de mil ochocientos cuarenta y seis: Yo el Presbitero José Francisco Aragón Cura encargado, hice los oficios Eccos, con la solemnidad correspondiente á su clase, en union del Prebitero Dn. Ygnacio Villalobos y Padre religioso Dn. Ant°. Beltran, con Cruz alta, Pira, y Mesa Plana á el alma del Sor. Capitan Dn. Juan Bautista Elguezabal, adulto de treinta y seis años, originario del Curato de Río Grande jurisdiccion del Obispado de Monterrey y vecino de esta Villa, hace seis años, casado que fué con Da. Maria Antonia Gutierrez: No recibió los Santos Sacramentos, ni hizo Testamento, por haber muerto repentinamente á manos de los Ladrones, en el punto de las Sabanillas, en donde fué asaltado.Yendo en compañía de Dn. Lorenzo Yarto y un niño con direccion para San Luis Potosí: Es de advertir que el cuerpo del Señor Elguezabal, no pudiendo  --- para esta Parroquia fué sepultado en la del Real de Mazapil, jurisdiccion de Guadalajara, en lo Ecco: La funesta muerte fué verificada el día 8 del presente como á las once de la mañana, por un balazo, que recibio el referido Sor. Capitan en el cerebro; y para que conste lo firmo. J. Franc°. Aragón. 

El Capitán Don Juan Bautista Elguezabal era hijo del Teniente Don Juan José Elguezabal y de doña María de Jesús de la Garza, fueron sus padrinos de bautismo el Teniente Coronel don Ygnacio Elizondo y su esposa doña Romana Carrasco. Sus abuelos paternos: el Governador Don Juan Bautista de Elguezabal y doña María Gertrudis Ximenez, los maternos: el Capitan de Urbanos don Diego Angel de la Garza y doña María Gertudis Carrasco.

Su abuelo el Teniente Coronel don Juan Bautista de Elguezabal era peninsular, oiginario de Bilbao, fué Comandante e Inspector de Presidios y Governador interino de Tejas, contrajo matrimonio el treinta y uno de Mayo de mil setecientos setenta y ocho en la Yglesia Parroquial del Real Presidio del Santísimo Sacramento y Ojo de Agua Verde ( Zaragoza, Coah.) con doña Gertudis Ximenez, hija legítima de Joseph Ximenez y de doña Ma. Juliana Maldonado.

Investigó y paleografió.Tte. Corl. Intdte. Ret. Ricardo R. Palmerín Cordero.Miembro de Genealogía de México y de la Sociedad de Genealogía de Nuevo León.

* Nuestra pagina web oficial la encuentras en
Fuentes. Family Search. Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los últimos Días.
Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero 
Estimados amigos del Estado de Coahuila de Zaragoza.


José Antonio Crespo-Francés

Buenas noches,  Siguiendo con nuestros Españoles Olvidados se acompaña este breve recuerdo a Juan Fernández, navegante en el Pacífico, descubridor de las islas de su nombre y posiblemente el primero que avistó Nueva Zelanda. Espero resulte de interés.

En la sección Informes del diario digital publica el artículo “Juan Fernández, otro español olvidado en el Pacífico, posible descubridor de Nueva Zelanda” el domingo 30 de noviembre de 2014.

Dedicado este artículo a Juan Fernández (1528-1599), quien hacia 1550 llegó al Pacífico y durante cuarenta años navegó entre Perú y Chile, para luego tomar parte en la primera expedición de Mendaña, y en la de Sarmiento de Gamboa al estrecho de Magallanes. Hoy queda como testigo el nombre del archipiélago Juan Fernández conjunto de islas ubicado en el Pacífico Sur, a más de 670 km al oeste de América del Sur, de las costas de Chile. Está compuesto de las islas que originalmente se llamaban Más a Tierra, hoy Robinson Crusoe, y Más Afuera, hoy nombrada como Alejandro Selkirk, además del islote de Santa Clara y otros islotes menores. El archipiélago forma hoy parte del territorio de Chile y se hicieron conocidas no por su descubridor sino por la novela Robinson Crusoe.

[This essay is a 14 pages study.]

Intervención radiofónica en la emisora Es.Radio, el domingo 9 de noviembre de 2014, en el programa “Sin Complejos”, dentro de la sección denominada “Españoles Olvidados”, en esta ocasión dedicado a “Juan Fernández” explorador en el Pacífico, descubridor de las islas que llevan su nombre frente a Chile y probablemente de Nueva Zelanda. 

El objetivo de todos estos artículos e intervenciones no es otro que hacer presente y actual nuestra memoria histórica en la idea de abonar el camino para recuperar la verdad histórica y cohesionar España.

Fonoteca de Es.Radio: José Antonio Crespo-Francés nos habla sobre el descubridor de las islas que llevan su nombre, y posiblemente también de Nueva Zelanda.  

General Don Vicente Riva Palacio

Envío a Uds. las imágenes de los registros del bautismo y matrimonio del General Don Vicente Riva Palacio, Distinguido Liberal, Militar, Licenciado, Escritor, Político y nieto del Benemérito General de División Don Vicente Guerrero, Héroe de la Independencia de México.

Fuentes. Family Search. Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los últimos Días.  Sagrario Metropolitano de la Cd. de México.
Investigó y paleografió.
Tte. Corl. Intdte. Ret. Ricardo R. Palmerín Cordero. 
Miembro de Genealogía de México y de la Sociedad de Genealogía de Nuevo León. 

"En Diez y seis de Octubre de mil ochocientos treinta y dos, con licencia del D.D. José María de Santiago, Cura propio y mas antiguo de esta Santa Yglesia. Yó el B.D. Pedro de Legorreta, bautizé á un niño que nació hoy, pusele por nombres, Vicente, Florencio, Carlos, hijo legitimo de legitimo matrimonio de Don Mariano Riva Palacio, y de Doña Maria Dolores Guerrero. Nieto por linea paterna de Don Estevan Riva Palacio y Doña Dolores Díaz, el primero difunto; y por la materna del Señor General Don Vicente Guerrero, difunto, y Doña María Guadalupe Hernández: fué su madrina su abuela materna la referida Doña María Guadalupe Hernández, impuesta de su obligación". José María de Santiago Pedro de Legorreta.

" En Veinte y seis de Julio de mil ochocientos cincuenta y seis, previas las diligencias necesarias practicadas en la Sria. Arsobispal, y la dispensa de las proclamas conciliares que concedió el Yllmo. Sor. Dor. D. Lazaro de la Garza y Ballesteros Dignisimo Arzobispo de México, yo el Dr. D. Bernardo Gárate Dignidad Tesorero de esta misma Santa Yglesia, autorizado especialmente por dicho Yllmo Sor. Arzobispo; estando en la Hacienda de la Asuncion jurisdiccion de Chalco, perteneciente al Curato de Temamatla á las ocho de la noche, asistí a la celebracion del matrimonio que el Lic. D. Vicente Riva Palacio, soltero de veinte y tres años de edad, natural y vecino de esta Capital, hijo legitimo del Sr. Diputado Don Mariano Riva Palacio, y de la Sa. Da. Dolores Guerrero, difunta, infacie Eclesia contrajo con Da. Josefa Bros, Doncella de diez y siete años de edad, natural y vecina de esta Capital, hija legma. del S.D. Blas Bros, y de la Sa. Da. Carmen Villaseñor siendo padrinos los Sres. D. Mariano Riva Palacio y Da. Guadalupe Bros, y testigos el Lic. D. José Manuel Lebrija y el Lic. Don Pedro Escudero y Echanove; y al día siguiente de la fecha estando en la Capilla de dicha Hacienda, en la celebración de la Misa les conferí las bendiciones nupciales ". Dor. José Ma. Diez de Sollano Dor. Bernardo Gárate.

Nota. El Ilustrísimo Señor Arzobispo de México Don Lázaro de la Garza y Ballesteros era medio hermano de quien fuera Gobernador de Nuevo León Don José María Parás Ballesteros, ambos nacidos en el Valle del Pilón, mi tierra natal Montemorelos, N.L.; el Padre de Don Lázaro fué Don Antonio de la Garza y el de Don José María, Don Vicente Parás Pereda originario de los Reynos de Castilla. La Madre de estos distinguidos personajes de nuestra historia fué Doña María Dolores Ballesteros hija legítima de Don Christobal Ballesteros y de Doña María S. Jpha. González Hidalgo.

Don Lázaro fué bautizado en la Parroquia de San Mateo del Valle del Pilón el 25 de Diciembre de 1785 de nueve días de nacido.
Don José María fué bautizado el 27 de Abril de 1794 de once días de nacido, en la misma Parroquia.

Hacienda de Pozo Hondo, Matrimonio de Casimiento de Indios Teodoro Garcia y Agapita Albarez
En la Yglesia Parroquial, digo ayuda de la Parroquia, Hacienda de Pozo Hondo, en diez y nuebe de abril de mil ochocientos diez y nuebe, casó y veló in facie ecclesie pr. palabra de presente el Br. Dr. Jose Maria Garzes a TEODORO GARCIA, yndio de edad de veinte y dos años de edad, soltero, originario del puesto del Obispo, hijo natural de Mateana Garcia - con AGAPITA ALBAREZ, yndia de diez y nuebe años, libre originaria de Sombrerete, y residente en la de Pozo Hondo ha catorce años, hija lexitima de Ygnacio Albarez y Maria Josefa Mendez, bibos, habiendo precedido informacion de su libertad y soltura, como tambien las tres moniciones presentadas por el Santo Concilio de Trento, en los tres dias festivos que lo fueron beinte y uno, beinte y cinco, veintiocho de marzo, y no habiendo resultado impedimento alguno, se procedió a la celebración de matrimonio. Siendo testigos a verlos casar Jose Aguilar y Francisco Albarez, y pa que conste lo firmé. JOSE MANUEL DE CORP

Benicio Samuel Sánchez García
Genealogista e Historiador Familiar

Celular Monterrey 811+513+8354 
Otras Ciudades de Mexico : 045 81 1 191 6334
USA 01152+1+81+1191 6334)


Florida International University Libraries acquisition of Cuban genealogy collection
Cuba and the US to restore diplomatic relationships, comments by Eddie Calderon


Florida International 
University Libraries announces 
acquisition of important 
Cuban genealogy collection

Editor Mimi: Be sure and search  the site  to  grasp what has been collected.  Wow . . . what a treasure!!
Sent by Paul Newfield, III

Cuba and the US to restore diplomatic relationships, comments by Eddie Calderon

Mimi, Good News . . . . .
Cuba and the US are now on the verge of restoring diplomatic relationship after not having it for 53 years. I remember as a University of the Philippines' student when Fidel Castro took over the country from Fulgencio Batista and the termination of US-Cuban diplomatic relationship. The Cuban Missile crisis ensued but later resolved during the time of President Kennedy. See
In 1968, I together with a dozen Americans received a living and learning scholarship to spend 4.5 months in Chile and before we went to Chile, we spent 5 days in Miami, Florida. There I met and made friendship with Cuban refugees and heard all the stories about their lives in Cuba, how they came to the USA, and how their lives were changed since then. I met a number of them in the Little Havana section of Miami. Then we went to Chile and on the way back to Minnesota, I stopped over to be with a Cuban Miami family who became my friends while I was in Miami on the way bacl to Minnesota.
I am very happy that the US and Cuba can get together and many Cubans hope that this development will help Cuba and former refugees who can now come and visit their relatives in Cuba and help them.

Eddie Calderon, Ph.D.



First Unlooted Royal Tomb of Its Kind Unearthed in Peru
Three queens were buried with golden treasures, human sacrifices.
Heather Pringle, for National Geographic
Published, June 27,  2013

Images of winged, supernatural beings adorn a pair of heavy gold-and-silver ear ornaments that one high-ranking Wari woman wore to her grave in the imperial tomb at El Castillo de Huarmey. In all, the archaeological team found the remains of 63 individuals, including three Wari queens. (See more pictures)   Photograph by Daniel Giannoni

It was a stunning discovery: the first unlooted imperial tomb of the Wari, the ancient civilization that built South America's earliest empire between 700 and 1000 A.D. Yet it wasn't happiness that Milosz Giersz felt when he first glimpsed gold in the dim recesses of the burial chamber in northern Peru.

Giersz, an archaeologist at the University of Warsaw in Poland, realized at once that if word leaked out that his Polish-Peruvian team had discovered a 1,200-year-old "temple of the dead" filled with precious gold and silver artifacts, looters would descend on the site in droves. "I had a nightmare about the possibility," says Giersz.

So Giersz and project co-director Roberto Pimentel Nita kept their discovery secret. Digging quietly for months in one of the burial chambers, the archaeologists collected more than a thousand artifacts, including sophisticated gold and silver jewelry, bronze axes, and gold tools, along with the bodies of three Wari queens and 60 other individuals, some of whom were probably human sacrifices. (See more: "First Pictures: Peru's Rare, Unlooted Royal Tomb")  

Archaeologists discovered a massive carved wooden mace (foreground) protruding from stone fill. “It was a tomb marker,” says University of Warsaw archaeologist Milosz Giersz, who heads the team. “We knew then that we had the main mausoleum.” (See more pictures and website.)  Photograph by Milosz Giersz.

Peru's Minister of Culture and other dignitaries will officially announce the discovery today at a press conference at the site. Krzysztof Makowski Hanula, an archaeologist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima and the project's scientific adviser, said the newly unearthed temple of the dead "is like a pantheon, like a mausoleum of all the Wari nobility in the region."

Overlooked Empire

The Wari lords have long been overshadowed by the later Inca, whose achievements were extensively documented by their Spanish conquerors. But in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., the Wari built an empire that spanned much of present-day Peru. Their Andean capital, Huari, became one of the world's great cities. At its zenith, Huari boasted a population conservatively estimated at about 40,000 people. Paris, by comparison, had just 25,000 residents at the time.

Just how the Wari forged this empire, whether by conquest or persuasion, is a long-standing archaeological mystery. The sheer sophistication of Wari artwork has long attracted looters, who have ransacked the remains of imperial palaces and shrines. Unable to stop the destruction of vital archaeological information, researchers were left with many more questions than answers. (Read: "Brewery Was Burned After Ancient Peru Drinking Ritual.")

The spectacular new finds at El Castillo de Huarmey, a four-hour drive north of Lima, will go a long way toward answering some of those questions. Although grave robbers have been digging at the 110-acre site off and on for decades, Giersz suspected that a mausoleum remained hidden deep underground. In January 2010, he and a small team scrutinized the area using aerial photography and geophysical imaging equipment. On a ridge between two large adobe-brick pyramids, they spotted the faint outline of what appeared to be a subterranean mausoleum.  The research at El Castillo de Huarmey is supported by National Geographic's Global Exploration Fund and Expeditions Council.

Tomb robbers had long dumped rubble on the ridge. Digging through the rubble last September, Giersz and his team uncovered an ancient ceremonial room with a stone throne. Below this lay a large mysterious chamber sealed with 30 tons of loose stone fill. Giersz decided to keep digging. Inside the fill was a huge carved wooden mace. "It was a tomb marker," says Giersz, "and we knew then that we had the main mausoleum."

Tomb robbers had long dumped rubble on the ridge. Digging through the rubble last September, Giersz and his team uncovered an ancient ceremonial room with a stone throne. 

Below this lay a large mysterious chamber sealed with 30 tons of loose stone fill. Giersz decided to keep digging. Inside the fill was a huge carved wooden mace. "It was a tomb marker," says Giersz, "and we knew then that we had the main mausoleum."


As the archaeologists carefully removed the fill, they discovered rows of human bodies buried in a seated position and wrapped in poorly preserved textiles. Nearby, in three small side chambers, were the remains of three Wari queens and many of their prized possessions, including weaving tools made of gold. "So what were these first ladies doing at the imperial court? They were weaving cloth with gold instruments," says Makowski.

Mourners had also interred many other treasures in the room: inlaid gold and silver ear-ornaments, silver bowls, bronze ritual axes, a rare alabaster drinking cup, knives, coca leaf containers, brilliantly painted ceramics from many parts of the Andean world, and other precious objects. Giersz and his colleagues had never seen anything like it before. "We are talking about the first unearthed royal imperial tomb," says Giersz.

But for archaeologists, the greatest treasure will be the tomb's wealth of new information on the Wari Empire. The construction of an imperial mausoleum at El Castillo shows that Wari lords conquered and politically controlled this part of the northern coast, and likely played a key role in the downfall of the northern Moche kingdom. Intriguingly, one vessel from the mausoleum depicts coastal warriors battling axe-wielding Wari invaders.

The Wari also waged a battle for the hearts and minds of their new vassals. In addition to military might, they fostered a cult of royal ancestor worship. The bodies of the entombed queens bore traces of insect pupae, revealing that attendants had taken them out of the funerary chamber and exposed them to the air. This strongly suggests that the Wari displayed the mummies of their queens on the throne of the ceremonial room, allowing the living to venerate the royal dead. (Related: "Mummy Bundles, Child Sacrifices Found on Pyramid.")

Analysis of the mausoleum-and other chambers that may still be buried-is only beginning. Giersz predicts that his team has another eight to ten years of work there. But already the finds at El Castillo promise to cast the Wari civilization in a brilliant new light. "The Wari phenomenon can be compared to the empire of Alexander the Great," says Makowski. "It's a brief historical phenomenon, but with great consequence." 


International Beauties From The Philippines; Update by Eddie AAA Calderón, Ph.D. 
Boxer Francisco Guilledo Induction 1994 International  Boxing Hall of Fame
One Million Filipinos and the Booming Outsourcing Business 
        by Eddie AAA Calderón, Ph.D.


International Beauties From The Philippines; An Update
by Eddie AAA Calderón, Ph.D.

My article here is a sequel to my last one written exactly a year ago entitled, The year 2013 was good for our Philippine Beauties in PHILIPPINES. As long as our beauties keep on winning the number one spot in the international beauty competition, I will continue to write on this nice subject matter in Somos Primos Hispanic magazine.
It is with utmost pride anew for me to announce this very good news regarding a countymate winning once again the number one spot in the  international beauty competition in 2014. The beauty competition was for Miss Earth  held during the last week of November, 2014. The winner is Miss Jamie Herrell from Cebu City, Philippines. 
Photo by Rappler  

She is the second Miss Earth for the Philippines. The first winner was in 2008 won by Miss Karla Henry who is  also from the same city as the new Miss Earth, 2014. 

In the year 2013, we had three world beauty queens which I mentioned in my January, 2014  Somos Primos cited above. The year 2013 was a big honour for our country because we had three beauty winners who won for first time three international beauty competitions  and winning them in one year. This event is certainly the first of its kind for our beauties and our country and other beauty contestants and their countries in the world. PHILIPPINES.   See also

The three beauty winners were: 

a) Miss Supranational --Mutya Datul. Miss Datul is our first Miss Supranational.
The contest was held in Minsk, Byelarus on September 6, 2013. Byelarus  was a former republic of the ex-Soviet Union.
When I wrote about this particular event for the October, 2013 edition of the Somos Primos magazine, I never thought that it would be followed later on by two more Filipina beauties winning two additional topmost international beauty contests by the end of the year 2013.   Refer to PHILIPPINES


b) Miss World  --Megan Lynn Young. Miss Young is our first Miss World.
The contest was held in Bali, Indonesia on September 28, 2013. I wrote a separate article on this event in PHILIPPINES


c) Miss International  --Bea Rose Santiago. She is also the first Filipina winner of this international beauty pageant.
There are of course many international beauty contests. Wikipedia mentions four largest and most famous international beauty pageants. They are Miss World (founded in 1951), Miss Universe (1952), Miss International (1960) and Miss Earth (2001). I am very proud to tell the world that my country, the Philippines, has topmost winners in these 4 international beauty pageants. Refer to:
a) Miss Megan Young as Miss World in 2013. She is again our first Miss World. 

b) For the Miss Universe crown we have two, and they were Miss Gloria Diaz in 1969 our first  Miss Universe, and Miss Margarita Moran (now Mrs. Floirendo) in 1973.

c) For the Miss International beauty contest, we have:  Gemma Cruz (now Mrs. Gemma Cruz-Araneta), our first Miss International (Cited by Maria Embry from the Wikipedia article at PHILIPPINES); 

Aurora Pijuan, 1970 who was married to Tomas Manotoc ; 
Melanie Marquez, 1979 who is married to  Adam Lawyer; 
Lara Quigaman, 2005 who is married to Marco Alcaraz; 
and Bea Santiago, 2013 

d) Jamie Herrell,  Miss Earth 2014 and Karla Henry, Miss Earth, 2008.


The Philippines is also blessed with many runner-up winners in the international beauty competitions over the years.

                     Refer to

I counted 63 Filipina beauty contestants as runner-ups in the above website. This source does not include other international beauty contests such as Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International (a recent beauty pageant and and not to be confused with Miss International) and others which may include Filipina beauty runner-ups. 

Because our women have been winning the international beauty contests, one website had this news in 2013: "(T)he Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) has banned the Philippines from future international beauty competitions, citing “enormous advantage” by Filipina candidates in practically all pageants this year. Of course this story is a joke. 

We also had the first Miss Universe --Armi Kuusela from Finland in 1952 married to a Filipino by the name of Virgilio Hilario. Refer to: 

Then we have Stella Marques, Miss International, 1960, from Colombia who is married to another Filipino by the name of Jorge Araneta. See: 

My non-Filipino friends in the internet aside from my country mates told me that my country was certainly a land of many beautiful women and winning again in the international beauty competitions would no longer be a big surprise to us Filipinos.
Sent by Eddie Calderon, Ph.D.


Pancho Villa (Francisco Guilledo)

Born: August 1, 1901 Died: July 14, 1925 

Bouts: 105   Won: 73
Lost: 5   Drew: 4 
ND: 23  KOs: 22

Induction: 1994 into the International 
Boxing Hall of Fame, Canastota, N.Y.

And here is his story . . .

Pancho Villa is considered by many to be the greatest Asian fighter in boxing history. Just over five feet tall, Villa was explosive and unrelenting in the ring. He had fought 105 times, sometimes with as little as a week between bouts, by the time of his death at age 24. Born Francisco Guilledo on the island of Panay in the Philippines, Villa often fought with other boys in his village. His reputation with his fists brought him to the attention of promoter Frank Churchill in Manila. Impressed with the then-80-pound fighter, Churchill began handling Villa and, reportedly, named him after the famous Mexican bandit.

Villa fought exclusively in the Philippines from 1919 through April 1922, often facing much larger men. In that time, he lost only three fights and captured two Filipino titles. In 1922, Churchill took Villa to the United States. The young Filipino fought two no-decision bouts in New Jersey, losing-according to the newspapers-to Abe Goldstein and Frankie Genaro. The America press and public were at first slow to take notice of Villa. Churchill had difficulty arranging fights in major venues until, for almost no money, he got Villa and another Filipino, Elino Flores, on a card at Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Each fighter won his bout, and the crowd gave Villa a standing ovation.

Three months after his arrival in the U.S., Villa knocked out Johnny Buff in eleven rounds to win the American flyweight title. Genaro took the title back in 1923 in a 15-round decision that most observers believed belonged to Villa. Meanwhile, British flyweight champion Jimmy Wilde had come to New York seeking the world title. Although Genaro was a likely opponent, the now wildly popular Villa was considered a better draw. In the match at New York's Polo Grounds, Villa displayed his relentless, attacking style, peppering Wilde with punches from both hands. In the seventh round, Villa battered Wilde to a state of helplessness, ending the fight and Wilde's career.

Although a proposed rematch with Genaro never took place, Villa defended his title several times in the U.S. and the Philippines. Villa fought in a non-title bout with Jimmy McLarnin on July 4, 1925 in Oakland. Weak from the recent extraction of a wisdom tooth, Villa lost the decision. It was to be his last fight. Another visit to the dentist resulted in the discovery of an infection and the extraction of three more teeth. Villa ignored the dentist's instructions to rest and returns for a follow-up visit, and instead indulged in a week-long party. The infection worsened, and by the time Villa's trainer, Whitey Ekwert, discovered the fighter's distress and rushed him to the hospital, it was too late. Villa died in the hospital of Ludwig's Angina, an infection of the throat cavity.

Sent by Poppo Olag

One Million Filipinos and the Booming Outsourcing Business
by Eddie AAA Calderón, Ph.D.

The Philippines is reported to have done well in the outsourcing business venture coming from other countries. The business includes financial services, software design, medical and legal transcription, animation and gaming. 

As far as the revenue received from the outsourcing business, it is unlike the revenue created by the Oversea Filipino workers (OFWs) in foreign countries and in particular the Middle East. Our workers in the outsourcing business stay in our country while they receive employment and compensation from foreign countries doing outsourcing business. Their OFW counterparts live and work in foreign countries.

Here in Minnesota and the rest of the USA, it is not unusual to find business outsourced Filipino workers on the other line talking to you from their employment desks in the Philippines when you make telephone calls for business transactions and inquiries. 

The outsourcing business in the Philippines started in the early 90's where the reported revenue was $1.5 billion. But now the revenue is expected to reach $18 billion at the end of this year. A prediction for an even more revenue of $25 billion dollars will be due by the year 2016.

India is quoted to be the number one country for the outsourcing business. But now the report states that the Philippines has already overtaken India "as the global leader in call centres and is also expanding into more sophisticated outsourced operations as Western firms farm out back office and other tasks to lower-cost areas". Remittances account for more than one tenth of the gross domestic product of the Philippines. As of 2007, the Philippines ranked fourth in the world in annual remittances, behind only India ($25 billion) 

Wikipedia statements regarding the revenues coming from OFWs as opposed to the outsourcing business done in the Philippines:
"In 2012, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, expects official remittances coursed through banks and agents to grow 5% over 2011 to US$21 billion, but official remittances are only a fraction of all remittances.[9] Remittances by unofficial, including illegal, channels are estimated by the Asian Bankers Association to be 30 to 40% higher than the official BSP figure.[9] In 2011, remittances were US$20.117 billion.[10]

(The) Philippines is the fourth largest recipient of official remittances after China, India, and Mexico.[9] OFW remittances represent 13.5% of the country's GDP, the largest in proportion to the domestic economyamong the four countries.[11] OFW remittances is also credited for the Philippines' recent economic growth resulting to investment status upgrades from credit ratings agencies such as Fitch and S&P.[12]" 

With this kind of huge revenue amounting to multi-billion dollars coming from both the outsourcing business and the OFWs every year, the Philippines should be on the way to becoming a prosperous nation. The taxes alone paid from this huge revenue would and should again improve our economy. Many of our countrymates have used the money they receive from the outsourcing businesses for investment especially in real estate. The same is true with our OFWs who also invest in real estate and other business from their earned income aside from helping their parents and relatives financially speaking.*

*The remittance should again have a very positive effect and impact for our country's much needed improvement in economy. The presence of the OFWs and the Middle East in particular should also compliment that nice article of an Arab writer which was also published in the Somos Primos Magazine. PHILIPPINES  

I also wrote an article in Somos Primos Magazine on the subject of Brain Drain when our OFWs migrate to other countries. PHILIPPINES Brain Drain or Brain Deluge/Surplus
Here is the newspaper article on this outsourcing business subject matter. 

One Million Filipinos join Booming Philippine Outsourcing Sector (September 24, 2014) 

Manila (AFP) - The Philippines' booming outsourcing industry now employs a million people after growing almost tenfold in just over a decade, the industry association said Wednesday (September 24, 2014) 

Widely considered as second only to India, Philippine outsourcing is expected to earn $18 billion this year, said the IT and Business Process Association Philippines. "We just (hit) one million. Still targeting 1.3 million in 2016," its president Jose Mari Mercado said in a statement.  

He expressed confidence that the sector, which started from scratch in the early 1990s, would increase its revenues to $25 billion by 2016.  The business process outsourcing or BPO sector has emerged as a shining star of the Philippine economy after posting just $1.5 billion in revenues with 103,500 employees in 2004, figures released by the industry group showed.
This has helped provide better-paying jobs to a country where 10 million people, about a tenth of the population, have travelled overseas to seek employment.

For each person hired directly by the industry, about 2.5 additional support jobs are also generated, the association said.
The Philippines has already overtaken India as the global leader in call centres and is also expanding into more sophisticated outsourced operations as Western firms farm out back office and other tasks to lower-cost areas.

These include financial services, software design, medical and legal transcription, animation and gaming. The industry said as of 2012, it accounted for 5.6 percent of the country's gross domestic product and this could rise to 7.8 percent by 2016 under a "roadmap" prepared in coordination with the government. The Philippine office of real estate giant CBRE also foresaw further growth in the BPO industry based on its growing demand for office space. "Philippine BPO expansion looks to be on a strong 10-year run in real estate," said Rick Santos, chairman of CBRE Philippines. 

He said more companies were investing in BPO functions in the Philippines due to the low costs, the weakness of the Philippine peso and the high quality of the English-speaking workforce. "BPO companies come here for the costs. They grow because of the people," Santos told reporters, adding that the industry was also attracting manufacturing firms to the Philippines.


Juan Latino
Magellan Expedition's Voyage the World (1519-1522)
Duchess of Alba, the world's most titled aristocrat, dies
El Archivo Diocesano digitalizará libros y registros de parroquias de la Isla Tenerife
Monumento a Blas de Lezo: Juan Carlos I presidirá el homenaje ciudadano
Blas de Lezo y la Defensa Heroica de Cartagena de Indias
El  Ayuntamiento de Palos por Angel Custodio Rebollo 
Escubrimiento de America / Nuevo Estudios

Timeline Spain thru 1899Fate of Ex-Muslim Critic of Islam Hangs in Balance


Juan Latino


Hi Mimi, 
I have rewritten the post about Juan Latino, the only black scholar of medieval Europe, teacher at the University of Granada, who married a beautiful lady of the high society in Spain. That would have never happened anywhere else in Europe at that time. 
Just trying to debunk in part all those Black Legend accusations that painted the Spanish society as "racist". It really sounds like a bit of a joke taking into account that it is one of the more mixed countries in the whole world (Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Jews, etc..) . 
I used to live in a town down south at the Costa del Sol in Spain where there were registered people from 120 different nationalities.  This is the link:
This e-mail should suffice as a waiving of copyright for publishing that article at your website. Regarding the images, I believe you can use them as long as you keep the URLs they link to, (both book and video).
Un saludo, Regards, 
Rafael Minuesa
Tel: +63 (0) 929 236 26 08


Ferdinand Magellan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This website gives a good look at the Magellan Expedition's Voyage the World (1519-1522) You will find Diego Carmena listed as a mariner on the only surviving ship (Victoria) . Captain Del Cano was Commanding.  Interesting . Bill Carmena



Duchess of Alba, the world's most titled aristocrat, dies

By Sonya Dowsett MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's 18th Duchess of Alba, who died on Thursday aged 88, was one of Europe's wealthiest and most titled aristocrats, the owne...
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's 18th Duchess of Alba, who died on Thursday aged 88, was one of Europe's wealthiest and most titled aristocrats, the owner of fabulous palaces and priceless works of art.

She died after a short illness, surrounded by family in the 14th century Palacio de Duenas in Seville, famous for its lemon-tree-filled courtyards and her favorite of her many properties.

Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, known to friends as 'Cayetana', was named by Guinness World Records as the world's most titled person.

She was 14 times a Spanish grandee, five times a duchess, once a countess-duchess, 18 times a marchioness, 18 times a countess and once a viscountess, according to the entry.

With her cloud of white hair and face moulded by plastic surgery, she was rarely out of the Spanish gossip magazines, most recently on the arm of her third husband, 24 years her junior.

Head of one of Spain's oldest aristocratic families dating back to the 1400s, and the third woman to hold the title of Duchess of Alba in her own right, her wealth is estimated at between 600 million and 3.5 billion euros.

"I don't like to talk about money. Many people confuse having cash with having assets - we've never had a lot of cash," she wrote in her autobiography.

Many of the palaces, castles and works of art belonging to the House of Alba have restrictions placed on their sale because of their historic importance for Spain.

The 13th Duchess of Alba was a muse of artist Francisco Goya in the 18th century and is rumored to be the subject of 'La Maja Desnuda', his famous portrait of a reclining nude which hangs in Madrid's Prado gallery.

The duchess tells in her autobiography of how Spanish artist Pablo Picasso asked her to pose nude to recreate the painting, but her conservative first husband forbade it.

Born in 1926 in a neoclassical palace in Madrid, she spent much of her childhood in London when her father was ambassador to Britain and where she dined with Winston Churchill and played with Princess Margaret.

Her father, an Anglophile and royalist, sided with dictator Francisco Franco at the beginning of Spain's Civil War but relations grew frosty as it became clear Franco would not reinstate a king as head of Spain.

The twice-widowed duchess first married aged 21 in 1947 to fellow aristocrat Luis Martinez de Irujo in a wedding on a scale to rival that of Britain's Princess Elizabeth later that year.

Wearing a pearl and diamond crown, she rode to Seville Cathedral in a horse-drawn carriage with thousands of well-wishers lining the streets to cheer her. The couple had six children.

She became a fixture of the international jet-set, hosting Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy on their visits to Spain and turning her Madrid palace over to French designer Yves Saint Laurent to stage a Dior fashion show in 1959.

An aficionado of bull-fighting and flamenco, she often took place of honor at bull-fights in her beloved Seville, usually sporting a magnificent 'mantilla' - the traditional Spanish lace veil worn over a high comb.

The duchess, who favored an eccentric clothing style, sporting beaded anklets and fishnet tights well into her eighties, married former Catholic priest Jesus Aguirre Ortiz de Zarate six years after the death of her first husband.

Her second husband died in 2001. Her courtship with dashing civil servant Alfonso Diez gripped the nation, aroused disapproval from Queen Sofia and was openly opposed by her six children.

Before tying the knot with 61-year-old Diez in 2011, the duchess divided her fortune between her offspring to silence their protests.

Although ill health kept her out of the public eye in later months, her most memorable recent image was when she flung off her shoes to perform an impromptu flamenco dance before a forest of cameras and well-wishers at her third wedding.

"Together we have a wonderful time. She's always asking: What shall we do next? She's unstoppable," said husband Diez in an interview in Vanity Fair magazine shortly before their marriage. "It often seems that I'm the older of the two."

(Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Sonya Hepinstall)

This website includes the pedigree of the Duchess

Sent by John Inclan 

El Archivo Diocesano digitalizará los libros y registros de todas las parroquias de la Isla Tenerife

Las partidas de bautismo, matrimonio y defunción, que van desde la conquista a 1914, son la única referencia documental previa a 1871

Por Almudena Cruz 20.11.2014
El Archivo Histórico Diocesano de La Laguna firmará en breve un convenio de colaboración con el Cabildo de Tenerife para llevar a cabo la digitalización de los libros de bautismos, matrimonios y defunciones de todas las parroquias de la Isla.

El presidente de la institución insular, Carlos Alonso, anunció esta misma semana la firma de un acuerdo que se extenderá durante los próximos cinco años. El director de esta institución dependiente del Obispado de Tenerife, Miguel Ángel Navarro Mederos, explicó que este proyecto supone una subvención económica de 150.000 euros. El convenio entre ambas instituciones prevé partidas de 30.000 euros anuales hasta el año 2020. "Todavía no se ha firmado, pero los aspectos generales ya están definidos", explicó el responsable de la institución.

Este trabajo facilitará las numerosas investigaciones que mes tras mes encuentran en la casona de la calle Anchieta su lugar principal de búsqueda. Los documentos comprenden un arco temporal que va desde la misma conquista de la Isla hasta 1914. Contienen, en esencia, buena parte de la historia de Tenerife en una época donde no existía el Registro Civil, que empezó a funcionar en 1871.

El trabajo no solo incluye la digitalización de esos libros, sino que abarcará, además, su documentación y clasificación para la posterior consulta de los mismos a través de un ordenador.

Otra consecuencia directa de la iniciativa, además de añadir garantías a la conservación de estos importantes documentos, es la posibilidad de aumentar los puestos de consulta para los investigadores y el horario del centro.

Navarro adelantó que el Archivo Diocesano buscará financiación "de otra entidad" con la que crear 20 puestos informáticos con los que "la consulta de documentos será directa y eficaz. Además, no requerirá de la atención directa de nuestro personal porque no se manejarán los originales".

Para la digitalización, el Archivo no prevé realizar nuevas contrataciones. "No podemos afrontar ese tipo de iniciativas", aclaró su director. "Lo cierto es que, pese a que no solucionan todos nuestros problemas, este proyecto es a la par ilusionante y tranquilizador", añadió. "El presidente del Cabildo ha sido muy sensible con la importancia que tienen estos fondos", añadió.

De hecho, estos archivos son esenciales para aquellos extranjeros que pretenden reclamar la ciudadanía española en virtud de una de las disposiciones de la Ley de Memoria Histórica con la que basta demostrar que se tienen ascendentes, en segundo término, que nacieron en España.

La noticia llega justo cuatro años después de que el Archivo estuviera a punto de cerrar por las dificultades económicas. "Tenemos una media de 200 investigadores mensuales y recibimos muchas peticiones desde lugares como San Antonio de Texas, Luisiana o el Yucatán, donde hay muchos descendientes de canarios interesados en rescatar su árbol genealógico", concluyó.

Sent by Paul Newfield III, 
and Bill Carmena, 

Monumento a Blas de Lezo: Juan Carlos I presidirá el homenaje ciudadano en Madrid el día 15
Publicado por Esteban Villarejo, Tierra, Mar y Aire,  el nov 7, 2014

El Rey Don Juan Carlos inaugurará el próximo sábado la estatu