DIA’s recipients of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society’s Legacy of Valor Medal pose in front of the exhibit with society president Rick Leal and Congressional Medal of Honor nominee Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ramon Rodriguez. (Photo by DIA)  Click to article.

November 2015

 Mimi Lozano ©2000-2015





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Table of Contents
United States
Heritage Projects
Historic Tidbits
Hispanic Leaders
Latino Patriots
Early Latino Patriots
Family History

Books and Print Media

Orange County, CA
Los Angeles CO, CA
Northwestern US

Southwestern US

Middle America
East Coast
Central/South America


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

Submitters and/or attributed to:  
Mike Acosta
Rodolfo F. Acuña
Ben Alvillar 
Mary Anthony Long Startz 
Eduardo Arechabala Alcantar
Elaine Ayala
Salomon Baldenegro 
Mercy Bautista Olvera 
Eva Booher 
John Paul Brammer
Paul. O. Briones
Kevin Alan Brook
Kevin Cabrera 
Eddie Calderon, Ph.D.
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 
Dr. C.A. Campos y Escalante
Jesus Cantu Medel 
José Antonio Crespo-Francés 
Ray John de Aragon
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
Maria Elizabeth Embry 
Paul Espinosa, Ph.D.
Barry J. Ewell 
Gary Felix
Henry Flores, Ph.D.
Maria E. Garcia
Wanda Garcia
Moises Garza
Jerry Gibbons
Fernando R. Gomez
Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan 
Eddie Grijalva 
Lucy Guanuna
Antonio Guerrero Aguilar 
Lila Guzman 
Odell Harwell 
Walter Herbeck
Santiago R. Hernandez 
Sergio Hernandez
Win Holtzman
Manuel A. Huerta
John D. Inclan
Soeren Kern
Galal Kernahan
Rick Leal
José Antonio López
Jerry Javier Lujan
Elena Macias, Ph.D., M.S.W 
Jan Mallet 
Juan Marinez 
Eddie Martinez
Marilyn Mills
Cahal Milmo 
Dorinda Moreno
Edward Morin
Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Ph.D. 
Douglas Murray
Viola Myre
Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olsen 
Kentara Padron 
Ernesto Palacios
Ricardo R. Palmerín Cordero.
Dorothy M. Perez 
Joe Perez 
Michael S. Perez
Rueben M. Perez
Richard Perry
Gilberto Quezada
Luis Ramirez
Oscar Ramirez 

Enriqueta Ramos, Ph.D.
Ángel Custodio Rebollo 
Frances Rios
Letty Rodela 
Michelle Rodriguez
Norman Rozeff 
Jesus Manuel Ruiz Sanchez 
Lorri Ruiz Frain 
Juan Salgado
Joe Sanchez
Benicio Samuel Sánchez García
Tom Saenz 
Louis F. Serna
Sister Mary Sevilla
Herman Sillas
Jordi Soler
Mary Anthony Startz
Paul Trejo
August Uribe
Ernesto Uribe
Val Valdez Gibbons
Armando Vazquez-Ramos
Gwen Vieau
Kirk Whisler
Gloria Williams
Diana Ybarra
Carlos M. Yturralde 


Letters to the Editor

Responding to Gustavo Arellano's response to why Mexicans look Asian. . .  Eddie Calderon, Ph.D. writes:

"When I took a course in anthropology we were told that there were three races of people. They were the caucasoid, negroid, and mongoloid.of course we do not use these terms anymore. But we were told in that class that the Mongoloid race comprises of many Asians and native people of the Americas. Since many natives of Mexico, Peru, Ecuador,.El Salvador, etc are/were from that race of people, it is expected that they look Asian brethren. Other Asians like the Pakistanis and Indians despite their dark appearances are classified as Caucasians."    eddieaaa@hotmail.com 
Thank you so much for this summary of your latest SOMOS...! As always you have done all of us a great service by bringing more of our glorious history to us..!! Mil Gracias...!!
Louis Serna sernabook@comcast.net 

Editor:   Hi, I've included the notification  letter that Louis mentions, at the end of this issue.

P.O. 490
Midway City, CA 




Celebrating California's Birthdate, written and illustrated by Eddie Martinez
Contemporary relevance of the November 13, 1849, Birth of the State of California
   As demonstrated the last 14 years in Orange County  by Galal Kernahan
November 5th . . .
Hooray we made it into the System by Mimi Lozano

Celebrating the Hispanic Legacy of Valor during Hispanic Heritage Month
América Española by José Antonio López
To those Latinos who can't speak Spanish by John Paul Brammer
Pew Spanish Language Future

What's Wrong with this Picture? By Ray John de Aragon
La Leyenda Negra, Series 4, By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca 
       "That One May Smile and Smile and be a Villain [Still]"  
Labor Day passed here without fanfare by Herman Sillas
LULAC and Orgullosa Celebrate Latina's Contributions to American
Linda Mazon Gutierrez: 2015 Phoenix Advocate of the Year by LATINA Style 

Audrey Esparza, newcomer to primetime 
Mexican Animated, Un Gallo' Con Muchos Huevos Racks Up Big in Box Office
The Latino Lens, National Association of Latino Independent Producers
Oscar Manuel Laurel from Laredo, Texas, distinguished career
Truth Bomb: Disastrous Economic "Recovery" By Jason W. Stevens
Latinas & Success: 14 inspiring professional Latinas share principles to succeed

Eddie Martinez

So much United States history is based on the East coast perspective.  It has ignored the much earlier  Spanish presence.  Exclusion has resulted in  great confusion.  Somos Primos has joined with many groups and individuals trying to bring inclusion.  Retired from Disneyland artist Eddie Martinez has created  a series of illustration, historic maps based on fact obtained from Spanish records and his travels. The first time these maps will be exhibited as a group will be on November 5th in Orange County, California.

November 5, 
an exhibit of Eddie Martinez historical maps will be part of an event to be held at the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, California.  Click to Orange.
See below . . . 


Historicity of and contemporary relevance of the November 13, 1849


As demonstrated the last 16  years in Orange County, California  *
 by Galal Kernahan


One hundred and sixty-six years before 2015, Califomians went to the polls on November 13, 1849 approved their "Birth Certificate" State Constitution and elected their first State Officers. The Original California Constitution was composed in English and Spanish at a convention held in the Co/ton Hall Monterey schoolhouse. (Orthographic copies of California's Original Constitution have been posted online by the California State Archives. Browne's Debates (proceedings of the Constitutional Convention) are available from California State Archives, too)

The First California Legislature had met and conducted its initial business (including establishment of 27 original counties) by September 9, 1850 when Congress admitted the already functioning State into the Union by an Act that proclaimed: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled that the State of California shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever.

How California became a State when Califomians ratified its birth certificate State Constitution and elected State officers is unique. Arizona and New Mexico also occupy land ceded by Mexico under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo proclaimed in the U.S. July 4, 1848. New Mexico and Arizona were federally administered Territories until 1912, at which time they were granted Statehood on Admission to the Union. CALIFORNIANS BUILD THEIR STATE TOGETHER. They did at its beginning, They do today.

A multimillion-dollar California Sesquicentennial Commission effort to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the State of California exhausted its funds and closed mid-year in 1999.

Web-posted SOMOS PRIMOS and LOS AMIGOS OF ORANGE COUNTY in cooperation with the University of California, Irvine, organized a November 13. 1999, Sesquicentennial Community Forum. Papers presented there were published.

To differentiate California's Statehood from its Admission to the Union, a September 9, 2000 150th
anniversary of the later took place at California State University, Fullerton.  Other Orange County November 13th California State Birthday observances have been held at such venues as the Heritage Museum of Orange County in 2010 and with chaplaincy remembrances at more than 25 Orange County places of worship when November 13th fell on Sunday in 2011.  They recalled the 1849 sessions of the California Constitutional Convention in Monterey where Congregational and Roman Catholic Chaplains alternated in opening proceedings.

At a special 2012 session of the San Juan Capistrano City Council, Fourth Graders from San Juan School (founded 1850) reenacted November 13, 1849 local voting in the election that ratified California's Original Constitution and elected State Officers and launched Public Education. They did this again at their school in 2013. GJK

Continuation below: 


November 5th . . .  Hooray we made it into the System!!

Editor Mimi:   

Galal has been undeterred in promoting the importance of the historic fact that California was a state before it was accepted for US statehood, with a bilingual Spanish/English constitution.  I have been supporting Galal efforts all along the way.  Once acknowledged and absorbed, the facts are rich for  exploring the complexities of the myriad of  adjustments made by the Californianos to the American invasion, after to and after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.  

Galal turned 90 years old this year.  We were both hopeful that we could organize a project that would carry over.  The development of materials that would get into the local educational system for the benefit of our youth.  Galal said, it would be  "His last hoorah."   

After 16 years and 6 related projects, I am happy to say . . .  we finally made it.  A 4th Grade Elementary level Classroom Unit  was developed by two Santa Ana Unified School District curriculum specialists, Marta Moyer and Jennifer Wood, under the direction of Dr. Michelle Rodriquez.  The lessons were tested out in the classroom, with great success.  The Unit will be made available to all districts. 



4th Grade

Unit of Study

California Bilingual


First Edition



Santa Ana Unified School District Common Core Unit Planner
Unit Title: California Bilingual Constitution 1849
Grade Level/Course: 4th Grade: ELA and Social Science Time Frame: 2 weeks

Big Idea (Enduring Understanding) :
Native Californians, Californios, and newly arriving immigrants joined together in giving
structure and shape to California.

Essential Questions: 
1. Prior to the 1850s, why did CA attract a diverse population?
2. How did internal and external factors affect the culture and economics of CA?
3. How were the contributions of the Spanish and Mexican people validated in the creation of the CA Constitution?

I served as the chair of an education committee for the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research and was joined by three other retired teachers, SHHAR officers, Letty Rodella, Tom Saenz, and Virginia Gill.  

Our first step was gain the approval of  Dr. Al Mijares, Orange County Superintendent of Schools. 
That was achieved with the involvement of  Judge Fredrick Aguirre, a good friend and history activist.  Dr. Mijares assigned Rob Vicario,  OCDE Coordinator, History-Social Science to work with us. After meeting with us, Rob Vicario suggested we work directly with Dr. Michelle Rodriguez,  Santa Ana Unified School District.  We did not hear back for a week or so.  Then Sonia Palacio, a SHHAR Board member spoke to her husband, John Palacio who is on the Santa Ana Unified School.  And we were in!! 

It took considerable networking and years of building community relationships, in which all the groups could come together with the goal of promoting the historical fact that the first California Constitution was written as a bilingual document and signed in 1849.  We choose to hold the event at the Heritage Museum of Orange County, parking was good and a lovely historic site.  Once again, prior relationships helped.  We had held a reenactment of the signing of the 1849 Constitution at the Heritage Museum in 2010.  With the support of  Museum Board member, Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan, we had our location approved!! 

Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, Santa Ana Unified School District will be sending 100 teachers to attend the November 5th workshop.  Surely this will effect change in how California history will be taught locally, hopefully state wide, as well.  A copy of the unit will be on display, plus some of the 4th grade students work.  Other resources will also be for browsing. 

For readers that live in Southern California, I invite you to attend the November 5th event.  
For information, go to HeritageMuseumOC.org, scan the QR code, or call  714-540-0404.

The maps by Eddie Martinez included in the article above, will be on display at the November 5th event.
The Honorable Edward F. Butler, past National General President of the Sons of the American Revolution is the keynote speaker, author of "Our Spanish Allies During the Revolutionary War."  

Early California played by Frances Rios, a CD available for purchase. 
. . . . Appetizers . . . No host Bar . . . 

The program also includes the reenactment of the California's Constitutional Debates performed by Santa Ana Public Library Youth narrated by Kevin Cabrera, Heritage Museum director.

Thank you for your continuing advocacy . .
God bless America . . . .  and Galal . . . . we did it!!




Celebrating the Hispanic Legacy of Valor 
during Hispanic Heritage Month
by Defense Intelligence Agency Public Affairs 
Hispanic Medal of Honor Society
October 03, 2014


DIA’s recipients of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society’s Legacy of Valor Medal pose in front of the exhibit with society president Rick Leal and Congressional Medal of Honor nominee Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ramon Rodriguez.

A historic Marine Corps uniform with the Medal of Honor ribbon is prominently showcased with U.S. flag as part of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society’s Legacy of Valor exhibit, on display at DIA Headquarters this week in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo by Army Lt. Col. Al Stout, OCC-2.

A historic Marine Corps uniform with the Medal of Honor ribbon is prominently showcased with U.S. flag as part of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society’s Legacy of Valor exhibit, on display at DIA Headquarters this week in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo by Army Lt. Col. Al Stout, OCC-2 (Photo by DIA)

The Hispanic Medal of Honor Society’s Legacy of Valor exhibit is on display at Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters this week as part of the agency’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Through photos and artifacts, the exhibit highlights the 60 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients of Hispanic descent, as well as Hispanic prisoners of war, astronauts and civic leaders.

“We have had more than our share of heroes. It’s a part of history we must not allow to be forgotten,” Rick Leal, president of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society, said at an event at DIA Sept. 29.

The Legacy of Valor ceremony and exhibit are one of many events making up the agency’s month-long observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. Observed nationally from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the long and important presence of Hispanics and Latino Americans in the U.S.

The Hispanic Medal of Honor Society promotes the awareness of the patriotism, gratitude and loyalty which Hispanic Americans have for the U.S. The group is also committed to recognizing, and advocating for the recognition of, those who haven’t received the Medal of Honor yet, such as retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ramon Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was nominated in 1982 for the Medal of Honor for his acts of valor during the Vietnam War. He is one of the most decorated combat soldiers who served in Vietnam, receiving a total of 17 combat medals and awards to include three Silver Stars and five Purple Hearts.

Rodriguez participated in DIA’s event and helped Leal present the society’s Legacy of Valor Medal to four DIA leaders: Acting Director David Shedd; Americas Regional Center Director Ray Velez; Brig. Gen. William Welsh, military advisor for the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; and Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Arleen Heath. These individuals were recognized for fostering an environment of awareness of the history, culture and contributions of all Hispanics.

“Remembering makes us better servants,” Shedd said when discussing the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month and recalling his personal ties to the Latino community. Shedd spent much of his childhood and professional life living in South and Central America and developed a passion for strengthening U.S. relations with the people and nations in the region.

At the invitation of the Department of Defense and Defense Intelligence Agency, it all came together.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, Sept. 18h, 2015 at the PENTAGON.  The Hispanic Medal of Display was at the Pentagon thru the end of September. 

Please go to the Department of Defense website and you will see the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society pictures taken at the Pentagon, including photos from last year's event (Sept. 2014) held at the Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA).

I do not have the words to express how deeply honored and proud I am that I have spent all these many years financially supporting the HMOH exhibit.  It have been well worth it.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, one individual in full uniform stands out in my mind.  He approached me with a big hug, congratulated me and said he was so proud to have the display at the Pentagon.  Then he handed me his business card, his title, Deputy of Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. I learned he was a Tejano Mexicano from Aransas, Texas.  He told me that for next year, during Hispanic Heritage Month, he wants the display set up at the entrance to the U.S. Capitol building, where the Congress meets. I just could not believe what was happening...

Also, at the ceremony were lots of important people.  Another person that stands out in my mind is a Latina woman in full military uniform.  She came over to me, thanked me, congratulated me, and gave me a big hug.  As you stood back, I saw the two stars on her shoulder.  She was a Major General Latina . .  Wow.   

Go to the Department of Defense website and download the photos.  We made it.  I wish to take the opportunity to thank all of you, especially Andy, Mimi, Delia and Wanda for all your help to the HMOH.
Tu Hermano, 
Rick Leal, President 
Hispanic Medal of Honor Society

The Hispanic Medal of Honor panels were exhibited at the: 
Department of Defense
Department of Intelligence Agency 
United States Navy
United States Army

There are six stand alone units: 
First Exhibit: Hispanic Medal of Honor display 
Second Exhibit: Justice for My People- Dr. Hector Garcia 
Third Exhibit: Return with Honor - Everett Alvarez, Jr. 
Fourth Exhibit: NASA Hispanic Astronauts display. 
Fifth Exhibit: 6 Ships on posters sit on easels. 
Sixth Exhibit: Two Revolving photo exhibits.   

Editor Mimi: Below are the names of  six Latinos, who were nominated to receive the Medal of Honor, but were rejected, for what I believe, were very questionable reasons. 

One of the goals of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society is to see that the following brave men, received the recognition that they deserve.  
(1.) Marcelino Serna, WWI    
(2.) Guy Gabaldon, WWII    
(3.) Modesto Cartagena, Korea    
(4.) Ramon Rodriguez, Vietnam    
(5.) Angel Mendez, Vietnam 
(6.) Rafael Peralta, Iraq

Do visit the new website for the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society: 

(File photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

América Española

José Antonio López
October 4, 2015  

Mexico and Mexican-descent immigrants continue to be ignobly thrown into the U.S. public opinion arena without mercy. 

This time, extremists are uptight to hear the sound of Spanish. That is, they dislike the language of Cervantes being spoken “on this side of the border.” Quick to blame it on recent immigration, their attacks are inconsistent with the chronology of U.S. history. As the most senior European language in America, Spanish must merit as high a degree of respect as that given to English. The question is, why isn’t it? In answering that question, I offer the following five reasons justifying its positive influence in our nation. I do so with two goals in mind. First, give notice to skeptics who insist on keeping Mexico and the Spanish language out of the U.S. story. Second, get the attention of Mexican-descent U.S. citizens who may be unaware of their long, honored history in the U.S.

Reason 1. None other than Stephen F. Austin saw Mexico as a bright future for poor, sharecropper Anglo families. Economically excluded by the U.S. upper class, this first wave of anguished citizens sought refuge in Mexico, adopting its distinctive way of life. In fact, Austin legally changed his first name from “Stephen” to “Esteban” and was proud to be bi-lingual. Sadly, revisionist mainstream Texas historians changed that initial white Anglo Saxon migration to Mexico from one of despair and want, to one contrived in 1836 Texas Revolution myths. 

Reason 2. The large number of Spanish-named places in the U.S. is not the work of recent Mexican immigrants “bringing their culture over here.” In truth, it was U.S. Anglos who swam across at least three rivers (Mississippi, Red, and Sabine) to reach these Spanish-speaking towns. For example, San Antonio, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Tucsón, Arizona; and Los Angeles, California are the best known 16th-18th Century towns settled by Spanish Mexican pioneers. (Key Point: Santa Fe, New Mexico, born in 1610, is the oldest capital city in the U.S. Thus, Spanish traces are quite visible still, creating the vibrant Spanish Mexican (Native American) ambiance the region is known for today.)

Reason 3. Our New Spain ancestors (for instance, Las Villas del Norte in Nuevo Santander (Tamaulipas), San Antonio, Nacogdoches, and La Bahia/Goliad) helped the English colonies with soldiers, food, war materiel, clothing, and financial support. Specifically, they donated money; (Españoles, two pesos; Mestizos and Indios, one peso each). Oddly, mainstream historians ignore the Spanish-speaking Americans’ quick response to the colonists’ needs. Rather, U.S. history today supports only an English viewpoint. That’s in spite of the fact that we vigorously celebrate July 4th, 1776, as our day of independence from, yes, England. Ironic, isn’t it? 

Reason 4. Last year, after nearly 240 years since it was first proposed, General Gálvez received U.S. honorary citizenship for his vital help to General George Washington. Upon hearing the news, most citizens (sadly many of Hispanic-descent) were surprised to hear about General Gálvez’ Independence involvement. To be sure, General Marquis de Lafayette was given the prestigious honor in 2002. The reason why General Galvez wasn’t saluted at the same time lies in the selective teaching of mainstream U.S. history. That’s the same mindset that contributes to today’s negative view of Mexico and the Spanish language in the U.S. 

Reason 5. There is much the U.S. owes to the Spanish Mexican culture. For example, Mexican currency was a preferred legal tender for merchants and citizens alike in the U.S. colonies. Too, over two-thirds of U.S. land has Spanish footprints. For example, Spanish-speaking people inhabited the entire middle-lower tier of states, from Florida to California. Again, Anglo settlers moving west used Spanish maps and Camino Real trails. In the words of Author H. E. Bolton, “Half of the U.S. rests on Spanish land; perhaps more if only the U.S. respected Spanish territorial claims from the 16th-18th centuries.” 

To be fair, in encountering weaker civilizations around the world, all European countries ruthlessly exploited native cultures. Spain and England both led the pack. In fact, Walt Whitman said it this way in 1883, “It is time to realize that there will not be found any more cruelty, tyranny, and superstition in the résumé in past Spanish history than in the corresponding résumé of Anglo-Norman history.”As shown above, there is no basis in fact regarding today’s nasty, negative view of the Spanish language in the U.S. political rhetoric field. As they gain strength in numbers, Spanish Mexican-descent students deserve a more positive picture of their heritage in the classroom. If they are taught that the U.S. Northeast is favorably known as New England, then their teachers should also teach them that the Southwest is New Spain.

In closing, authoritative writers consider human historical events as common property belonging to all mankind. So it must be for the Spanish influence in U.S. history. As to its importance, the narrative has for too long been written by unfriendly hands. Clearly, it’s time for fairness and balance — time for belated recognition.

The year 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of our Spanish ancestors on the Texas coast in 1519. All Spanish Mexican-descent citizens must unite in calling for celebration from Texas to California! There’s no better time to do the right thing for the right reasons. ¡Viva América Española!About the Author: 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 four books. His latest book is “Preserving Early Texas History (Essays of an Eighth-Generation South Texan)”. It is available through Amazon.com. Lopez is also the founder of the Tejano Learning Center, LLC, and www.tejanosunidos.org, a Web site dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are mostly overlooked in mainstream history books.


To those Latinos who can't speak Spanish.  "No hablo español."
John Paul Brammer
Writer, blogger and activist
Posted: 09/17/2015

Regarding the article below.  I am the only one out of four siblings who can speak fluent Spanish. I was exposed to it before our family moved out of the barrio due to my stepfather using the GI Bill to buy a home in a mixed, but predominantly English speaking neighborhood.

I studied Spanish in high school and have a BA in it. I've also traveled extensively in Mexico and Spain as well as having worked among Spanish speakers most of my life.

With that stated, I don't look down on those of our community who can't speak Spanish. I respect those who don't deny their heritage and community above those who speak Spanish well enough to use that advantage to exploit others while pretending to be better than every one else.   
Gil Chavez barrioguy@yahoo.com 

"No hablo español."

I never learned how to say it without feeling embarrassed.

Maybe I was just being sensitive, but I swear people would look at me differently when I told them, as if they had just offended me.

"Oops," the look said. "Sorry. I thought you were Latino."

And I was. And I am. But I didn't have the words to tell them.

I couldn't speak Spanish -- and it was a wall that separated me from my culture for most of my life.

Much has been written about what it means to be Latino. I haven't read it all, but I've read a lot, and I still haven't found a consensus on the definitive "Latino experience." Or, at least, I haven't found one that I feel comfortable enough to claim.

What I do know is that, for me, words like Chicano, Hispanic and Mexican-American are often thrown around. I know that we are every race and color. And I know that, for many of us, "diaspora" is an important part of our identities.

For my family, "diaspora" looked like moving to rural Oklahoma where we were the only Latinos around.

My abuela told me she dropped out of elementary school to pick cotton because she couldn't speak English. When I asked my mother if that's why my abuela didn't raise her to speak Spanish, she shrugged and said, "I didn't have anyone to speak to."

That's how it is for a lot of Latinos in the United States. Even if we were raised in the culture, even if we are first-generation or second-generation, we don't speak Spanish.

And it leaves some of us feeling like we aren't "Latino enough."

I grew up with that feeling.

That feeling is what made me take a job at a local Mexican restaurant where my coworkers from Iguala and Michoacán taught me slang. That feeling made me pay extra attention in Spanish class, made me spend hours reading Mexican news articles, and made me seek out friends who would only speak me to in Spanish.

But the thing is, when I finally did learn Spanish, I arrived at a conclusion I didn't expect -- I wasn't more Latino for knowing it.

The wall between my culture and me, I discovered, was largely of my own design. I felt like I wasn't Latino enough. I was insecure, and I allowed that insecurity to color my experience and define me.

To be sure, there are a lot of benefits to be gleaned from speaking another language.

In corporate America, for example, knowing Spanish is pretty much an expected draw to hiring Latinos, something that supposedly gives us worth in an environment that is less likely to hire us.

On a cultural level, we should all be learning more languages, and for Latinos, knowing Spanish does make it easier to connect with Latino media and certain elements of the community.

But as for being Latino, as for Spanish being a prerequisite to Latino identity, I say: mierda.

My abuela knew Spanish. The obstacles she encountered in the United States paired with living in a community where no one spoke the language meant my mother lost that knowledge. I am a product of that. That's diaspora, and I'm not ashamed of it.

Because speaking Spanish is not what makes me Latino.

The way I experience the world is what makes me Latino. My values - an emphasis on family, a commitment to social justice for my community - are what make me Latino.

It is inherent in me. It is effortless. It is not earned or awarded, given or taken. It just is.

So to the Latinos who don't speak Spanish, to the Latinos who can't roll their r's or have to smile and nod when their tía starts rattling off words they don't understand: Don't worry.

You are Latino enough.

Follow John Paul Brammer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jpbrammer 

Editor Mimi:  Boy, I could really relate to John Paul's feelings, but slightly deficient in other ways.  I have no problem with light conversational Spanish, or reading Spanish (though much slower than reading English).  

Recently, I received an email saying that I had been approved  "para ser llamado como Miembro Honorario De nuestra Sociedad Genealógica y de Historia Familiar de México AC."   

I know of this fine organization in Monterrey, and was quite honored to be approved as an Honorary Member, but I had a big problem in responding . . .  I feel my writing skills in Spanish are inadequate.  I also feel socially stunted among the educated and learned in Mexico.  My life experiences had not giving me the opportunity of absorbing the polite socializing that happens naturally among cultural groups.  I had not learned social skills appropriate to my heritage.  I noticed that lack in myself quite a few times while attending conferences and meetings conducted in and for the Spanish speaking.  The participants, attendees always impressed me.  The spoke in such beautifully polite, flowery terms.  The conversations seem to flows naturally from them.  I was concerned I would write something in accepting the honor, which would not be respectful enough.  

Fortunately, I noticed in the text of the email, the name of a friend, Arturo Cuellar, Mexican Records specialist at the Salt Lake Family Search Library Center in Utah.  I contacted Arturo and explained my hesitancy to respond.  Arturo laughed and assured me that I could answer in English because "Most of the society's members in Mexico, read English."  

So, I wrote my acceptance:
"I will look forward to receiving the documents, and will cherish them, as an indication that in some way I am helping my ancestors receive the honor that they deserved."

The president responded: 
"Mimi tu esfuerzo en la genealogia debe ser reconocido y es nuestro el honor de contarte en las filas.   Te enviaremos los documentos.
Gracias, Benicio Samuel Sánchez García
There are so many aspects to speaking several languages, well

A week or so after submitting my thesis to Dr. Swensen, the chair of my thesis committee at UCLA, she asked me if I spoke another language. There were no Latino support programs at UCLA in the early 1950s.  I said yes and she responded, "No wonder you say things like, "Throw the horse out the window some hay."    Hum m m  . .  my syndic was and still is Spanish. Frequently when I write something, I will read the sentences out-loud, and for clarity, will move phrases and sentences around within a paragraph.   

Being illiterate in two languages is a bit daunting, but we need to just go on. Write your stories, your memories, your thoughts.  Share who you are.  You may be giving someone the right push to tell their story.  



What is the future of Spanish in the United States? 

PEW REPORT, 2015: A record 33.2 million Hispanics in the U.S. speak English proficiently, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. In 2013, this group made up 68% of all Hispanics ages 5 and older, up from 59% in 2000.

At the same time that the share of Latinos who speak English proficiently is growing, the share that speaks Spanish at home has been declining over the last 13 years. In 2013, 73% of Latinos ages 5 and older said they speak Spanish at home, down from 78% who said the same in 2000. Despite this decline, a record 35.8 million Hispanics speak Spanish at home, a number that has continued to increase as the nation’s Hispanic population has grown.

Walter, the contribution of Mimi and Joe are excellent and on the right side of history. If we are to move forward in history it is our duty to do it on truth and actual historical facts. I like it to when you begin to do your family genealogy, if you are not prepared to see and listen to some of the ugly things your ancestors might have done you should not proceed.
I would add the we already have three languages in a treaty that we call NFATA English, French and Spanish. I refer to them as the North American languages that were codified in Law. 
The older treaty is the "Guadalupe". You recall that the US first declared war was against Mexico. The end of the war created certain legal obligation to both sides. On the US side was the accepting of Spanish in the previous Mexican Lands.
Finally, America is a continent, the US is a country. When you take a look at our continent below, you will notice that the major European Spoken Languages are English, Dutch (Aruba), French, Spanish and Portuguese. We also know that hundreds of Native continent languages are spoken as well. We all need to keep in mind that we live both in the US and in the Continent that is growing, as it grows so, will the languages that are spoken. I would guess that Spanish is also not only spoken by those whose ancestors spoke the language but increasingly persons like Jeb Bush are rapidly increasing the number of Spanish speakers. 
Article by PEW on the "What is the future of Spanish in the United States"



By Ray John de Aragon


Dancing with the Stars is an immensely popular TV show.  The most popular segment each season that draws many thousands of viewers is the Latin Night.  TV screens are bombarded with commercials touting this special show.  The lead judge on the program was a judge from England who was the acknowledged expert on Latin, or Latino dance.  He was  the tough judge that knew all of the intricate movements of the Argentine Tango, the Rumba, and the Samba.   When he demonstrated these movements for others he was as  stiff as a board and looked awkward, but this Englishman’s facial expressions showed his intense dissatisfaction when he felt the Latin Dance was not up to par when danced by others.  Other judges on the show are experts on Latin dance as well.   However, this weekly full time panel of experts has never included a single judge of Latin/Latino origin.   

The most popular condiment which replaced catsup is now salsa.  Bread is being replaced in popularity by the tortilla, and our ever favorite tacos and enchiladas are as well known in American culture now as hamburgers and hot dogs.  The English language has been infiltrated with Spanish words to the point that Americans now consider these words as American as apple pie.  They commonly use patio, barbecue, from barbacoa, rodeo, guitar, boots, politico, and countless other words of Spanish origin as if they were their own.  Spanish history, traditions, culture and heritage are as much a part of the fiber of the United States as is English history and culture.  Yet, some people want the United States to be an English only country in contrast to other world nations where many citizens are bilingual, and even trilingual.  So if the United States is an English only country, one might ask, how would this apply to the numerous Native American languages?    No one in the United States pays any attention to the royalty from Spain, but they certainly get excited when English royals traipse around or have a child.  What’s wrong with this whole picture?  

Citizens in the United States already know that Hispanics are always up to no good.  On the motion picture screen and on television Hispanics are portrayed as criminal element, prostitutes, maids, or maintenance workers.  Hispanics already know their place and should not even think of getting out of it.  When we succeed, it’s because others let us or very graciously helped us along, but we are still not at the same level and never will be.  Some Hispanics that have succeeded do not help their own like those of other ethnic groups which are united by heritage.  What’s wrong with this picture?  

Many people are ignorant of the history of the United States of America.   Let us not forget that the English and Americans along the seacoast practiced genocide against the Native Americans and if it had not been for the Spanish territories which included a significant part of the United States, all Indians would have been virtually obliterated.  Yet, American historians have succeeded in brainwashing the public into thinking that all of the problems affecting Native Americans were the result of Spanish oppressors who were bloodthirsty cutthroats who had no regard for human life and hungered for Gold.  This Black Legend that has been perpetuated for generations is very much alive and well today.  Hispanic history, traditions, heritage, and culture is still being denigrated and most of the calumny and hatred comes from people who have very little knowledge of the past, and who are racially motivated.  Cases in point, Queen Isabela de Castilla, and Fray Juniperro Serra.     

Ancestors of some Hispanics in the Southwest of Spanish origin  were Spanish presidio soldiers in the eighteenth century both in Santa Fe, New Mexico and elsewhere.  These soldiers contributed funds  to the 1776 American Revolution against England.  The Spanish government, per se, supported the independence of the colonies.  Soldiers of Spanish origin have fought valiantly in every single American conflict or have been in support of the U.S. since its founding.  Thousands of New Mexico Hispanic Civil War soldiers who fought courageously and heroically for the Union have gone unacknowledged.  These heroes thwarted Confederate attempts to stranglehold the North by taking over the West.  If Jefferson Davis and his commanders had succeeded, American history would have been completely different, and, yet not a single Hispanic soldier from New Mexico received a medal for their bravery  during the Civil War.  Lieutenant Cololonel Manuel Antonio Chavez, for example, who was responsible for the defeat of the Confederates at the famous Battle of Glorieta went undecorated for his victory.  Many Hispanic soldiers were either killed or maimed fighting for the Union cause.   Hispanic soldiers gave their lives and blood during World War I, and World War II.  Everyone knows about the Bataan Death March, but what they don’t know is that the soldiers involved were of Spanish origin.  Few were honored for serving their country.  What’s wrong with this picture?  

During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s when the youth were fed up and speaking up along with the leaders, everyone sought identity and self worth.  Those that were standard bearers were Martin Luther King, Reyes Tijerina of New Mexico and Cesar Chavez.  Great sacrifice and dedication helped to push President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the principles of the Constitution.  Racism would be abolished once and for all, and we would all be recognized as one was the credo.  Wonderful strides took place, opportunities opened up, and minorities finally appeared to be on the advance, thereby fulfilling what before had been empty promises.  But here we are in the 21st century and society is very rapidly taking steps backwards.  We hear that only true Americans should be here and all others should leave.  What is, we might ask, a true American? 

An inscription on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty taken from the sonnet, New Colossus, written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 reads in part:  

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.  

How does this poem of hope and freedom for immigrants coming to the United States written by a descendant of Jewish immigrants apply to this country and world today?  The United States has been called a land of immigrants by numerous writers on the one hand, and on the other a land that should have controlled borders and a wall similar to the infamous Berlin Wall that separated Eastern, and Western Germany.  “Tear down that Wall” President Ronald Reagan demanded of Gorbachov, leader of the Soviet Union, and when it was finally taken down everyone in the United States clapped and cheered.  Some people even collected pieces of the Berlin War as prized keepsakes and souvenirs.  Now these same people want a Berlin Wall between the United States and Mexico built in territory that once belonged to Spain, and the Republic of Mexico.  Those that have also proposed building a wall between the United States and Canada where it is known that terrorists bent on the destruction of this country have crossed, have been summarily quitted down.  They give reasons against the idea of building a wall on the northern border, that would also apply to the southern border.  Only one group of illegal immigrants are zeroed in on, but no pays attention to illegal immigrants from other countries such as Canada and Europe.  What’s wrong with this picture?    

There is no room in a democratic society for bigotry, racism and hate.  Intolerance has no place in the schools, or government.  Denigration of people and demagoguery should not be allowed.  Violations of basic human rights cannot be a part of life on this earth.  Chastisement, name calling, bullying, prejudice should not be a part of human existence yet it is happening all over the world.  It now seems that when we take two steps forward, we take three steps back when we are faced with the preservation of human dignity and human rights.  Radicals are allowed to destroy priceless archaeological treasures, and practically none is defending or speaking out on the immense suffering of people in the world, especially in Africa and the Mideast.   What is wrong with this picture?

La Leyenda Negra/The Black Legend and the New Millennium: Series 4

“That One May Smile and Smile and be a Villain [Still]”

By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca 

Scholar in Residence (Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Public Policy), Western New Mexico University


n the interior window of my office facing the grand foyer of the  University Library at Western New Mexico University I have a sign that reads: Boycott Hate. The sign has been there for 9 years—as long as I’ve been at the University. The sign reminds me of a line by William Shakespeare: “That one may smile and smile and be a villain [still].” This is a line from one of Hamlet’s soliloquys in the play (Act 1, Scene 5) where Hamlet is struggling with the incredulity of his mother Gertrude marrying Claudius her deceased husband’s brother so soon after her husband’s death. Despite Claudius’s benign behavior toward him, Hamlet knows him to be a villain feigning sincerity  since his father’s ghost (spirit) told him it was his brother Claudius who poisoned him while sleeping in his garden (see Ortego, 1966).

It occurs to me that in the general populace there are those who smile and smile at American Hispanics projecting concern and sympathy for their plight but who in reality harbor malevolence toward them as I’ve chronicled in the first three series of La Leyenda Negra (Somos Primos, 2009-2013). From the looks of things I doubt that anti-Hispanic sentiments can be dam-pened any time soon. This doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

The current anti-Hispanic brouhaha in the United States stems from the immigration rhetoric raging in the public square exacerbated by dire Congressional alarm that the U.S.-Mexico border is broken and that a wall or fence will mend it and take care of the problem. Easier said than done! The question here is why is the focus of “illegal” (undocumented) immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border and not on the U.S.-Canadian border or the non-border points of entry into the United States along the nation’s shoreline? Why is it that some groups can gain entry to the United States and access to citizenship by simply setting foot on American soil or by pleading for asylum? Need I explain? Well, here’s part of the answer.

The immigration issue has become a bȇte noire for the proponents of “America for Americans,” Catonists (Xenophobes) who fear the incursion of foreigners into the country who are not like themselves. Coupled to this is racism based on color—which pretty much includes all those who are not white—as Comte de Gobineau (1816-1882) expostulated in his theory of racism and the inequality of the human races.

A solution to the immigration problem vis-à-vis Hispanics generally and Mexicans specifically was to “round them up” and “ship them back” to their country of origin. This scenario was played out in the United States in the 1930s under the rubric of “repatriation” when the U.S. Immigration Service carried out a wholesale national effort to diminish the Hispanic (read Mexican) presence in the United States by rounding up Mexicans (including Mexican Americans despite the 14th Amendment). Repatriation was undertaken because of the swollen number of Mexicans who came north from Mexico between 1910 and 1930 to escape the Mexican civil war and the destabilization of the Mexican economy and propitiously to fill the need for agricultural workers to pick the fruit and vegetable crops of the United States.

In the 20th century until World War II the U.S.-Mexico relationship was a push-pull affair. When the U.S. needed workers, it pulled them from Mexico; when it no longer needed them, the U.S. pushed them back to Mexico. Because of the need for field workers during World War II, in 1942 the U.S. struck a deal with Mexico for Mexican braceros (hands) to pick American crops that would otherwise rot in the field. This 20-year arrangement (1942-1962) brought almost a million Mexican workers to the United States.

In all, the 3 million Mexicans who were part of the Mexican Cession of 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, the million-and-a-half Mexicans of the exodus north from Mexico between 1910 and 1930, and the million or so Mexican braceros from 1942 to 1962 became the core population of Mexican Americans. Important to note is that Mexican American are essentially a territorial minority and their growth as a demographic entity is due principally from fertility and motility than immigration.

Despite this history Mexican Americans have been treated like strangers in their own land. By 2014 attacks against American Hispanic communities more than tripled (http://www.The daily beast.com/articles/2014/02/20/hate-crime-victimization-statistics-show-rise-in-anti-hispa- nic-crime.html). Mexicans comprise the single largest component of the Immigration Court caseload.

Consistent with theories of modern racism . . . white, non-Hispanic Americans have adopted a ‘‘coded,’’ race-neutral means of expressing prejudice toward Hispanic immigrants by citing specific behaviors that are deemed inappropriate—either because they are illegal or threatening in an economic or cultural manner. (Hartman, Newman, Bell, 2013)

Anti-Hispanic Hate Crime Incidents

Chart showing the number of anti-Hispanic hate crimes rising from 426 in 2003 to 595 in 2007.“For many non-Latino Americans, the words “Latino” and “illegal immigrant” are one and the same. A new poll released by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions finds over 30 percent of non-Hispanics believe a majority (over half) of Hispanics are undocumented.  However, the actual figure of undocumented Hispanics in the U.S. is around 18 percent, and only 37 percent of U.S. Hispanics are actually immigrants, per the Pew Hispanic Center” (Lilley, 22012).

According to Alex Nogales, National Hispanic Media Coalition,  “The media is doing a disservice with coverage that is misleading the public about Latinos who live in the U.S.” (Ibid). The increase in violence against American Hispanics correlates closely with the increasingly heated debate over Comprehensive Immigration Reform and an escalation in the level of anti-immigrant vitriol on radio, television, and the Internet (Ortego, 2013).

National Latino groups say Donald Trump's "bigoted" and "hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric" is creating a backlash against Hispanics. In Boston, a 58-year-old Mexican national was beaten with a metal pole by two brothers who urinated on him and who told troopers afterwards they were inspired, at least in part, by Trump. A police report about the incident quoted one of the brothers as saying: “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported."  According to Roger C. Rocha, Jr., president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, “It’s obvious that Trump’s vision of making America great does not include Latinos” (Lienas, 2015).

On Long Island, New York on November 8, 2008, Marcelo Lucero, a 37 year-old Ecuadorian real estate agent, was beaten and fatally stabbed by seven teenagers who were driving around to "go find some Mexicans to f— up." The teens spotted Lucero and a friend, then proceeded "[l]ike a lynch mob...got out of their car and surrounded Mr. Lucero," beating and stabbing him, according to the local prosecutor. The teenagers, all 17 and 16 years old, were charged with felony gang assault. One of them was also charged with manslaughter as a hate crime. Steve Levy, the County Executive of Suffolk County, where the murder occurred, has frequently and forcefully spoken out against immigrants, including on Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Editorial, "A Death in Patchogue," The New York Times, November 10, 2008

In Brooklyn, New York, on December 7, 2008, Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhañay, a 31 year-old Ecuadorian and father of two, was walking home from a bar and a church party with his brother, their arms around each other, as is common among men in many Latino cultures. Three men drove up to the brothers yelling anti-gay and anti-Hispanic slurs. While his brother escaped, Sucuzhañay, who ran a local real estate agency and had lived in New York for a decade, was struck on the head by a beer bottle and fell to the ground. Another attacker beat his head with an aluminum baseball bat. The three attackers continued kicking and punching him. Suffering severe head fractures and extensive brain damage, he died two days later.33 Keith Phoenix, 28, and Hakim Scott, 25, were indicted on March 3, 2009. The two men were charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault, all as hate crimes, and could face 78 years to life in prison. Both men claim that they are not guilty.

                                                                      Kareem Fahim, "2 Indicted in Fatal Beating of Ecuadorian Immigrant,"

                                                                      The New York Times, March 3, 2009.

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

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

MAD has ties to extremist groups like Aryan Nation and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). From 2008-2009 Forde was Border Director for Jim Gilchrists’ Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. Gilchrist has appeared regularly on Fox News’ Glenn Beck and Hannity & Colmes shows and CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight (Ortego, 2007).

There's no doubt that the tone of the raging national debate over immigration is growing uglier by the day. Hispanics have become the whipping boy for the rise of bigotry many Americans thought had been quashed by the gains of the Civil Rights Movement. Words are not without consequences, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its  Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire decision (1942). Although the Court seemingly curtailed the fighting-words doctrine in later decisions, it has never overruled the Chaplinsky decision, so it remains in effect.

No matter how much we may emphasize that “sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us.” Oftentimes, words can be like steel darts, piercing, and wounding us deeply and as severely as sticks and stones. An ancient bromide cautions us that there are two sides to every story. Immigration reform in the United States is a cautionary undertaking with two sides: the rhetoric and the reality.

Backpedalling on the story, Arivaca residents are touting their “live and let live” philosophy and characterizing themselves as a community that watches out for each other. That being true then the Arivaca murders are indeed a failure of the community. But the failure is not Arivaca’s alone. The Arivaca murders are a failure of the state to curb the rhetoric of hate that permeates much of the public discourse on immigration  in Arizona. Actually, the rhetoric of hate permeates much of the public discourse on immigration across the country.

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

According to the National Institute for Latino Policy, in its 41 year history, Saturday Night LIve has had only two Latino cast members, Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen.  And in its 789 episodes has featured only 12 Latino guest hosts. Latino hosts comprise 1.5 percent of the total (Romero, October 14, 2015).

The future for Hispanics in the United States looks grim but not insurmountable.


Hartman, Todd K., Newman, Benjamin J. Bell, C. Scott, “Decoding Prejudice Toward Hispanics: Group Cues and Public Reactions to Threatening Immigrant Behavior,” Springer Scence + Business Media New York 2013.

Lienas, Bryan,Latino groups warn Trump's immigration rhetoric could inspire more hate crimes, Fox News Latino,  August 21, 2015.

Lilley, Sandra, “Poll: 1 out of 3 Americans inaccurately think most Hispanics are  undocumented,” NBC Latino, 9/12/2012.

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de.  The Stamp of One Defect: A Study of Hamlet, Texas Western, 1966.

____________________________.  “CNN and Lou Dobbs: Journalism or Jingoism,” National Hispanic

Forum, July 5, 2007).

_____________________________. “Rhetoric of Hate Fans Lynch Law in Arizona,” HispanicVista.com, July 25, 2009.

_____________________________. “Round ‘em up, Brand ‘em, then Kick ‘em out: American Latinos and the Rhetoric of Hate,” From Somos en Escrito: The Latino Literary On-line Magazine, May 5, 2010; posted on Facebook Poets Against Arizona SB 1070, May 6, 2010; posted on Aztlan Libre Press, May 6, 2010.

_____________________________. La Leyenda Negra/The Black Legend, Somos Primos, 2009-2013.

_____________________________. “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The “Bipolar” Hispanic in Contemporary Mainstream News Media” In Evolving Realities of U.S. Hispanic Media (E-Book), Edited by Alejandro Alvarado, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Florida International

University, 2013.

Romero, Dennis. “Trump’s Saturday Night Live Appearance has Latino Groups Incensed,” LA Weekly, October 14, 2015.

Snyder, Louis L. (1939). "Gobinism: The 'Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races'," in Race: A History of Ethnic Theories. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1939, pp. 114-130.


Labor Day passed here without a fanfare
View from the Pier
Herman Sillas


            Labor Day passed here without a fanfare.  The three-day holiday filled our beach with folks, and portable barbeque grills.  Most celebrants view Labor Day as the last day of summer or the day before children return to school.  Few know the history of this holiday.  In fact, the thought that workers are entitled to a paid holiday and need only work eight hours a day were at one time new concepts.

            Labor holiday is the result of workers seeking safer working conditions, higher wages and a shorter work day.  Some owners were strongly opposed to the changes.  Labor strikes followed and nonunion workers were hired to break the strike.  Violence erupted and blood flowed.  Police and troops were dispatched to end the uprisings and men were killed.  The Pullman Car Strike of 1893 and the Hay Market Square incident of 1894 led to President Grover Cleveland declaring the first Monday of September a national holiday, Labor Day. 

            My father had an appreciation of the day, because he was a sheet metal mechanic.  The union had wanted to unionize the shop where he worked, but would not let him be a member, because he was “Mexican,” although born in Texas.  His boss said, “If you won’t accept Herman then I won’t accept the union.”  So Dad became a union member and attended union meetings. When he tried to speak, he was called out of order.  Undaunted he learned parliamentary procedure and became a voice for equality.  I recall meetings at our house where meeting strategies were planned.  Then Dad bought a sheet metal shop and signed a union contract.

            I worked there as a journeyman earning $3.50 an hour while attending UCLA Law School.  The minimum wage then was $1.10 an hour.  I remember my dad telling me, “Son, learn a trade in case you don’t become a lawyer.”  The day I passed the bar, I ran into his office and announced, “Dad, I passed the bar and I quit!”

Recently, I visited my ninety-one-year-old cousin, Al Hernandez.  His mind is as sharp as it was the first time we met.  He is a World War II veteran and a long time labor leader.  Al started working at Firestone Tires in 1943, and was drafted into the Air Force three months later.  He returned as a Staff Sargent and was rehired at Firestone.  He knew the important roll that unions had played in obtaining better working conditions and a fair wage.  Al was subsequently hired by the United Rubber Workers to organize Spanish-speaking workers in the industry.  In the meantime he took classes at UCLA.  Eventually, Al was hired by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.  As an organizer he was involved in local and national political campaigns.  In 1974, for four days, he drove Cesar Chavez around Los Angeles introducing him to unions to gather support for the farm workers’ grape boycott. 

            We spoke about the changing work force over time.  Initially, organized labor was composed of men.  Women stayed home and took care of the house and children.  Today, parents’ roles aren’t defined by location or gender.  The home and work place may have the same address.  Today, earning a living and raising children are shared by both parents.  Technology now allows employees to work at home and communicate with the office via the internet.  The workforce is more diversified, not only by race and ethnicity, but also by age.  “Retired” workers now take jobs that were once considered exclusively for teenagers.  Women have joined the union ranks and in some instances lead unions.  

            Labor Day is a day that should be remembered by all of us in recognition of the sacrifices and contributions made by all those before us in order for us to have a paid holiday of rest.  Maybe next year here in San Clemente we can have a Labor Day Parade or a ceremony before we all head to the beach for a swim and a barbeque.  That’s the view from the pier.


(Herman Sillas can be found most early weekend mornings fishing on the San Clemente Pier.  He may be reached at sillasla@aol.com.  His book “View From The Pier” can now also be purchased at Casa Romantica. )


LULAC and Orgullosa Celebrate Latina’s Contributions
 to American Culture for Hispanic Heritage Month

During Hispanic Heritage Month, LULAC and P&G celebrate the rich and diverse cultural contributions Latinas have made to our country. That is why LULAC is proud to support the Orgullosa campaign that encourages Latina women to celebrate the uniqueness of Latino culture and its impact on American society. Hispanic women in the United States are multicultural which makes their contributions to American life diverse. During Hispanic Heritage Month, LULAC also celebrates Latina trailblazers who have successfully broken social barriers while balancing different roles as mothers and professionals. 

In addition, LULAC is committed to continue to empower Latinas through the work of the LULAC Women’s Commission which encourages women leaders in the community to advocate for women’s issues at the local, state, and national level. By using the hashtag, #InspireOrgullo, LULAC supports Orgullosa in encouraging Latinas from across the country to celebrate their experiences as Latinas. To learn more about Orgullosa, visit the Orgullosa Facebook page, and share your experiences by using the hashtag #InspireOrgullo.

Click here to watch the Orgullosa Hispanic Heritage Month video. 
Two segments, one of statemens of proud Latinas, followed by a data/facts series.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2HI-I9ZrVA 

Sent by Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan

Linda Mazon Gutierrez

LATINA Style is delighted to announce 
2015 Advocate of the Year for Phoenix, AZ

Linda Mazon Gutierrez is President and CEO of the Hispanic Women’s Corporation (HWC) which hosts over 2000 Latina women and students for every year at the largest professional and leadership institute in the nation.   In this role, Linda oversees the awarding of 50 scholarships to university and high school students seeking Baccalaureate, Masters, and Doctorates in Jurisprudence, Medicine and Epidemiology for Latino students. Over $380,000 in scholarships are awarded annually!

A native of Phoenix, now residing in Tucson, Arizona, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Education and Master of Arts Degree in Education: Counseling and Psychology from Arizona State University in 1972 and 1973 respectively. Linda completed her fellowship in 1992 with the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Ms. Linda Mazon Gutierrez served as a longtime government and health care official serving as the former legislative and congressional liaison for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) since 1982 and subsequently for the Governor’s Office as liaison on health care policy for the National Governor’s Association prior to her retirement from state service in 2007.

In 2007 Linda was elected Chair of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Affiliate Council based in Washington D.C. representing over 4 million Latinos across the United States and Puerto Rico. She was subsequently elected to the National Board of Directors in 2008 for a three year term.

Since 2005-2011, Linda served with the National Girl Scouts USA Board of Directors based in New York having been elected in 2008 to the executive office of Secretary of the National Board of Directors.

Linda serves on the advisory board of the ASU Morrison Institute of Public Policy
Linda served the Arizona Education Foundation board of directors from 2009-2011.
In 2008 she was appointed to serve in advisory capacity as one of forty national non-profit CEOs to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus by the Chair-Honorable Nydia Velasquez (New York) on issues pertaining to Latino policy and public impact.

She has also served as the elected Chair of the Board of Directors to the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) for four years. Prior to being elected chair of the board of directors, she served as NHLI Alumnae Chair for two years representing NHLI alumnae during this period.

She was awarded the 2004 National Foundation for Women Legislators Latina Leadership Award at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. for her work in the education of Latina women in political and public advocacy at a national level Tucson Hispanic Woman of the Year for 2009 by the Hispanic Professional Action Committee.

Profiles of Success Hall of Fame Award in 2001
Outstanding Contributions for Women leading in the Twenty-First Century by Federal Women Employee’s Association in 2001
Leadership for New Millennium Award by the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County Hispanic Networks Association in 2001
Outstanding Humanitarian Hall of Fame Award as alumna of St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, Arizona in 1998.

Mother of the Year by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001.
Linda Mazon Gutierrez is married to former Senator Jaime Gutierrez. 
They have four children Frank, Alexis, Jaime and Christopher. ***

Audrey Esparza, newcomer to primetime  
My little cousin made it and is a TV & Theater STAR!
Ernesto Uribe euribe000@aol.com 

A young Laredoan has made it as an actress on National TV and is staring in "Blindspot" on NBC Monday Night.  This young actor is Audrey Esparza from Laredo. She is the daughter of Sandra and Felipe Esparza (my first cousin}. Felipe is a pediatric dentist and is the son of Jorge and my aunt Raquel (Uribe) Esparza... both Jorge and Raquel taught math in the Laredo Independent School District for many years at Christen Jr. High and Martin High School. 

Audrey is a genuine Laredoan. After paying her dues as a struggling actor in New York City, Audrey Esparza has finally made it as a staring actor in "Blind Spot" on NBC Monday Night. Check her out.
Cheers,  Ernesto  

Below is the interview of Audrey by Celia Fernandez on the LATINA MAGAZINE website was the best. Enjoy: Exclusive: Audrey Esparza exclusive: Audrey Esparza Reveals what its like on set of NBC'S new show 'Blindspot' September 21, 2015 

Audrey Esparza is a newcomer to the primetime scene and she is ready to hit the ground running. The actress is set to play Tasha Zapata on NBC’s new show Blindspot. Tasha is a hardworking FBI agent that doesn’t know how to balance her home and her work life. She gave the scoop on her character and what we can expect from this new series.

What can you tell us about your character Tasha?
Tasha is a lot of fun to play. She’s really good at her job; she’s very spoken. Tasha has the ability to take in an entire scene quicker than most people. She isn’t great dealing with her personal life. She kind of can’t figure out how to have both right now, she just does one or the other, and she just chooses work.
How do you incorporate your Latin roots into your character?

She’s Latin because I’m Latin. Whatever essence I bring; I bring to every character. I don’t feel like I have to infuse her with what an outsider would think is Latin. My choices might be influenced by my cultural background just like anybody else’s. But I don’t consciously make her Latin because I just am who I am as a human being.

Are there moments on the show where she speaks in Spanish or is it just strictly English?
She does speak Spanish when necessary. It’s definitely in her skill set. English is probably her first language as it is mine. She probably learned it at the same time the way I did. If necessary, she’ll speak Spanish.

So, what’s your favorite thing about playing Tasha?
I feel like I’m working with one of the coolest teams on television right now. As a working actor, I’m somebody that’s inspired to be a working actor. I have a call time. To know every night that I get to wake up and do exactly what I’ve always wanted to do is the most exciting part whenever I have a job. It seems to be a little ongoing; it’s crazy, and exciting, and I feel lucky everyday I get to do it.

That’s awesome, we can tell from your voice your excitement about it.

I am. I’m from Laredo, Texas. I’m from the border. I knew a long time ago that I loved New York City. To actually be in it and live in it is really exciting, and I’m very happy to be in this situation.
So, what attracted you to the role?

Well, I had just gotten off of doing a role for “Public Morals”. It’s a TNT show. I played a very lousy prostitute. I read a bunch of scripts but this particular script; the Blindspot as a whole caught me. To be honest, Tasha’s part isn’t huge in the pilot but it definitely grows. I could see that it was somebody who was quiet and calculated in this period looking very different. As soon as I finished reading, the script I was like “Oh my god. This script is super special” and I knew I wanted to be a part of it in any capacity. What was exciting about getting it was that Tasha was open ethnicity. She wasn’t supposed to be Latin. She’s Latin because I’m Latin.

How are you and Tasha alike?
I like to prepare as much as possible for whatever job I’m in. I like to research, and know as much about a subject as possible, and she has that quality. In that way we’re very similar. I think she’s also really good at reading people. I think I also have that skill. What’s most exciting about playing her is our parts that are different. Her inability to communicate with other people; I am fascinated by people, and love talking to them, she doesn’t. That’s exciting for me to play.

What did you do to prepare for this role?
When we found out that we were going to go into series, it was so cool. They set us up with an FBI agent, and I went to the shooting range. I also read as many memoirs as I could about the FBI. I tried my best just to read it, and understand it. For me, it was really important to understand what an agent is as a human being as opposed to who they are as the heroes from TV. I think it’s really easy to have this preconceived notion of what kind of a person is heroic. To read these memoirs and to realize that they’re just human beings, and that they fear the way we fear was a really important thing for me.

What’s it like playing an FBI agent?
It’s so much fun! I do feel a certain amount of responsibility because these men and women exist. I’m sitting here talking to you about to prepare for an explosion. We’re going to blow something up in about ten minutes. The hardest part for me is “ Okay, don’t get too excited. Take this seriously, people actually do this.” I’m constantly wavering between those two parts of me. We blow things up, we shoot weapons, we’re running through New York City. It’s a great job. It’s very easy to wake up every morning because I have so much to look forward to.

What’s it like on set?
It’s great. My cast mates are fun, smart, and incredible actors. I spend most of my time with Rob Brown, who I feel is like the brother that I never had. Set is great, it’s such a great work environment. Martin Gero, our creator managed somehow to pick a group of people that are not only talented but kind and thoughtful human beings.

What do you think about the storyline for the show?
The Blindspot is a show that never stops. It’s like a free train, as soon as the opening credits go, the audience go. By the time you get to the end, you’re dying to know what happens next.

Does your character have a love interest? Maybe.

What’s it like working on set with all the other characters? Like Jaimie Alexander, and the main character Sullivan?   Everybody is great. We managed very early to develop a very tight bond. We spend a lot of time together on and off set. It’s good; we have a nice family on set.

What can we expect from this season?
I think that Blindspot is going to get your heart racing. Expect everything and everything you think you know about the show, you might’ve thought wrong.

Are you working on any other projects?
I just finished “ Public Morals” which just started airing about two weeks ago. That one was so much fun. It was a life long dream to get to work with Ed Burns. He’s smart, kind, and as talented as he is character. That was so much fun, and the character like I told you is so much different from Tasha.
Make sure to check out the series premiere of Blindspot on NBC at 10/9c

Mexican Animated film
Un Gallo' Con Muchos Huevos
Racks Up Big Labor Day Box Office
Brent Lang
Senior Film and Media Reporter@BrentALang

A Mexican animated film about a plucky rooster facing off against a cruel rancher was a stealth winner at an otherwise lackluster Labor Day Weekend box office.

"Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos," which translated into English means "a rooster with many eggs," racked up an impressive $4.4 million over the four-day holiday across a mere 395 screens, a fraction of the number of locations reserved for major summer releases like "Straight Outta Compton" or "Mission:Impossible - Rogue Nation."

Its success follows a pattern established by its U.S. distributor Pantelion Films, which has previously used Labor Day as a launching pad for hits like last year's "Cantinflas," a biopic about the Mexican comedian, and 2013's "Instructions Not Included," which remains the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in history. That hot streak is unique given that Labor Day is historically seen as a dumping ground for major studios, and this past holiday was the worst in a decade in terms of receipts.
SEE MORE:'Un Gallo' Surprises by Strutting Into Top Ten at Domestic Box Office
"It's a big family weekend for Hispanics and they tend to go to the movies as a family," said Paul Presburger, Pantelion's chief executive officer. "It's known as a weekend where major studios don't release many new pictures, so where they're zigging, we're zagging."

In Mexico, "Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos" has topped charts and racked up big numbers. It's the third film in an animated trilogy, but the first one to score a theatrical release in this country. To drum up excitement for the film, Pantelion targeted Hispanic adults between 25 to 49 years old and kids 6 to 11 years old. The studio advertised heavily on drive-time radio ads on Mexican and Spanish contemporary music stations and had talent appearances at supermarkets in neighborhoods with major Latino populations.

The company is a joint venture between Lionsgate and Televisa, and it leaned extensively on Televisa's Univision network to hawk "Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos" and on other Spanish-language networks like Telemundo, deploying the film's stars like Omar Chaparro and Bruno Bichir to appear on popular morning programs.
Next weekend, Pantelion will expand the number of theaters to approximately 580 screens. The hope is that with "Hotel Transylvania 2" not opening into late September, "Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos" can be the de facto choice for Hispanic family audiences.

"We have a pretty clear runway," said Presburger, who notes that combined with the Mexican grosses, the film is already profitable.

For Pantelion, it validates the bet its backers made that the studio could appeal to the burgeoning population of Latino moviegoers. Market research shows that Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnic group to purchase movie ticket, making them a valuable audience for films to attract.

"These movies come out and they take everybody by surprise," he added. "But we've been seeding the market and developing the market for five years. We're committed to making culturally relevant films for this audience."

Now the big choice in front of Presburger and his team is what film to release next Labor Day.

Sent by Kirk Whisler  kirk@whisler.com 

The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP .
Latino Lens, Adam Valencia, Director Lost Weekend,  Ready to Roll . . .

Oscar Manuel Laurel from Laredo, Texas, distinguished career

Hello Mimi,

At the annual convention in 1955, Oscar Manuel Laurel from Laredo, Texas, was elected as the 24th president of LULAC. He served a one-year term. A renowned attorney, he started his political career after his tenure with LULAC when Oscar won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives for the 80th District in 1956. Four years later, he was elected to the post of District Attorney for the 49th Judicial District that encompassed Webb, Zapata, and Dimmit Counties. People have lauded his superb oratorical skills, for which he developed a reputation. A successful businessman, he and his son founded the Falcon International Bank, one of the largest Hispanic owned banks in the United States.

I first heard his name mentioned when I was growing up in the barrio El Azteca in Laredo, Texas during the early 1950s. We lived at 402 San Pablo Avenue and across the street lived the Laurel family, in a nice modest brick house, at the southwest corner of Iturbide Street and San Pablo Avenue. Though I never met him during this time, but very often his name appeared in the Laredo Times, announcing his participation in many communtiy and civic affairs and especially his judicial cases as District Attorney. 

Then, in the early 1990s when I commenced my research on the Judge Manuel B. Bravo Papers for the writing of my award-winning political biography, Border Boss: Manuel B. Bravo and Zapata County, published by Texas A&M University Press, I came across a letter from Oscar M. Laurel to Judge Bravo, dated September 12, 1957. Judge Bravo had announced his retirement from public office, and all the local papers, and as far away as San Antonio and  Corpus Christi, carried the news. In his letter, he stated, "You will long be remembered as being the most outstanding public official in its long and colorful political history. You have always unflinchingly championed the cause of the people in Zapata and your well-known stand against the unreasonableness of the 'taking' by the United States government of Falcon Dam, will never be forgotten by those who greatly benefited from your actions." And, as part of research, on July 6, 1993, I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Oscar M. Laurel in his home. We had a delightful afternoon and I took copious notes. 

He married Elsa Gonzáles in 1951 and they had two children. On March 29, 2001, at the age of 80 years old, he passed away to his eternal reward. His bust in the lobby of the Webb County Courthouse in Laredo is an impressive tribute to the memory of this outstanding man. As an attachment, I have included a photograph of Oscar M. Laurel. 

According to the LULAC history of past presidents, this is their short biography of Oscar M. Laurel: "24th president - elected at the 1955 convention. Served one term.

Laurel was born in Laredo, Texas, on June 8, 1920. He attended Ursiline Academy and graduated from Martin High School. Then he enrolled in Loyola of the South before volunteering for the Army Air Corps in 1941. After service as an airplane mechanic on B-17 and B-29 bombers, he was discharged as a staff sergeant in 1945. Then he enrolled in pre-law at the University of Texas and graduated from the South Texas College of Law in Houston in 1950, passing the bar exam the same year.

Other positions that Laurel has held include:
•Special investigator for the District Attorney's Office in Laredo (1952-56)
•State Representative for the 80th District of Texas (1961-62)
•Member of the National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty (1967)
•Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (1967-72)
•Executive Director of the Good Neighbor Commission of Texas (1973-75)
•Chairperson of the Chapter of the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis (1964-65) and (1977-78)
•President of the Optimist Club of Laredo (1977-78)
•President of the International Good Neighbor Council from (1977-78)

Laurel married Elsa Gonzales in 1951 and had two children - Elsa L. Nicholson and Oscar M. Laurel Jr."

Thank you for the enormity of the task that you do so very well every month and may God continue to bless you with an abundance of energy and enthusiasm.

Gilberto Quezada  

From The Heritage Foundation
TRUTH BOMB:  Disastrous Economic “Recovery” 
By Jason W. Stevens

[Calvin] Coolidge put his actions behind his rhetoric. He followed his principles as President and was remarkably successful in achieving his policy goals. Harding and Coolidge inherited one of the worst economic disasters in American history. In 1921, the unemployment rate was 11.7 percent. The national debt had shot up from $1.5 billion in 1916 to $24 billion in 1919. Gross national product decreased from $91.5 billion in 1920 to $69.6 billion in 1921.

In response, Harding and Coolidge did not blame their predecessor, Woodrow Wilson, for the disaster they inherited. They went about putting their principles into practice and turning the economy around, and they were extremely effective in doing so. They employed a three-step plan.

Cut spending dramatically.
Lower taxes.
Reduce the burden of regulation.

Due to the passage of the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, Coolidge had a newfound power to propose an annual budget, giving him some influence over spending issues. Coolidge used this power, in his words, in an “intensive campaign” that he “waged unrelentingly” against federal spending. Coolidge won his war on federal spending: From 1921 to 1924, federal expenditures were reduced from $5.1 billion to $2.9 billion—a spending reduction of 43 percent.

At the same time, Coolidge worked with Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon to pass three successive income tax reduction plans. The purpose of reducing spending, he noted, was to protect the property rights of citizens.

“A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent necessity…is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.”

Freeing the citizen from burdensome taxes was Coolidge’s top priority, and under the Revenue Acts of 1921, 1924, and 1926, the highest income tax rate fell from 73 percent in 1921 to 24 percent in 1929. By reducing spending, Coolidge was able to lower taxes and retire much of the government’s debt, which was reduced from $24 billion to $16.9 billion.

Combined with his program of regulatory relief, Coolidge’s economic policies produced a period of incredible prosperity. The “Roaring Twenties” saw one of the most dynamic periods of economic growth in the nation’s history, and Coolidge left office having achieved great personal popularity and, more important, having shown that the principles of the Founding were still the best way to achieve freedom and prosperity.

Skeptics might respond that the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties was a mirage, since the economy went into a tailspin in 1929, causing the “Great Depression.” Economists have long disagreed, and will probably continue to disagree, about the causes of the Great Depression. Many blame faulty government policies (in particular, faulty monetary policy pursued by the Federal Reserve) for exacerbating a normal and temporary downturn.

While this debate will never be fully settled, it is probably fair to say that the prosperity of the 1920s was bound to level off at some point. At the same time, however, the causes of the Great Depression were numerous, and Coolidge’s policies of reducing taxes, cutting spending, and paying off the national debt were probably not immediate causes of the crash of 1929. …

Sent by Odell Harwell   odell.harwell74@att.net 



Juan Salgado awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant”
with a focus on Immigrant Education

Juan Salgado is president and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago.  Juan Salgado is a leader in helping immigrants overcome barriers to success in the workplace and build the human capital of their communities.

On September 15, he was among the 24 winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius grants” who will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached. Salgado’s organization has become a national model for helping immigrants learn English and improve their work skills.

“What we do in Instituto is we believe that any learner can become basically a college student – that if you’re at a fourth grade, sixth grade reading level and you’re an immigrant mom, you can become a registered nurse, a master’s degree nurse.” 

Juan told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “The reality is that we’ve taken over 500 previous low-wage income earners and just changed their lives. They’re now making $24, $27, $36 an hour where they used to make nothing or minimum wage.”

Through the Instituto del Progreso Latino, which he has led since 2001, Salgado works with members of the low-income, Latino immigrant communities on Chicago’s southwest side. Most adults in these communities work in menial jobs and face formidable barriers to upward mobility; few have high school diplomas, and many lack the English-language skills needed for a GED or vocational training program.

Salgado has pioneered an education program that adapts the principles of contextualized learning to equip these workers with the skills that lead to higher-paying employment in manufacturing and health care, sectors with a growing demand for a diverse, multilingual workforce. Participants achieve three goals concurrently: complete an adult basic education, improve language abilities, and acquire job skills. Instituto’s Carreras en Salud program prepares adults for college-level registered nurse programs, meeting a need for bilingual health care; its Manufacturing Technology Bridge program gives workers the high-level skills needed on the modern factory floor. Instituto also provides counseling to identify and overcome other obstacles to employment, such as transportation, child care, and elder care. Salgado has raised funds from private and public sources to expand Instituto’s programs, and he has built strong partnerships with community colleges and business owners to open up further opportunities for participants to gain training and employment.

Salgado continues to broaden Instituto’s reach. In 2010, he opened a charter school, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, which offers counseling and support to students beyond graduation through the first two years of postsecondary education or training. Through Salgado’s creative leadership, Instituto is widely recognized as an example of success, and it provides technical assistance to groups replicating its techniques in California, Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas. Salgado has built an effective ladder to opportunity in the Instituto del Progreso Latino, empowering individuals, lifting families out of poverty, and creating a model program with national reach.

Juan Salgado received an A.A. (1989) from Moraine Valley Community College, a B.A. (1991) from Illinois Wesleyan University, and an M.U.P. (1993) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was programs director of The Resurrection Project, a community development organization in Chicago, prior to becoming CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino in 2001.

High-resolution photos for download. Photos are owned by the MacArthur Foundation and licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY. Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on a link below to save the file to your computer.

See more at: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/945/#sthash.bmFdYIpz.TeAJf1OY.dpuf 

Blog Talk Radio (LEAD Affiliate)  
Latinas & Success: 14 inspiring professional Latinas 
share their principles to succeed, in four on-demand podcasts 

June 2015: 
SONIA T RODRIGUEZ, Empowerment coach
LUPITA RUIZ-TOLENTO, Graduate studies, UC San Diego

July 2015
ANALISA FREITAS, Environmental Advocate 
GILDA OCHOA, Ph.D., Pomona College
CONCEPCION M POWELL, US-Women Grocers Association
THELMA T REYNA, Ph.D., Author and poet

August 2015
CHRISTINA R DIAZ, Systems engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA
BELINDA FAUSTINOS, Executive Officer, Rivers and Mountains Conservancy

September 2015
GUADALUPE BAÑALES, Mechanical engineer, GM
VIVIANA CARDOZA, Entrepreneur 
TERESA GONZALEZ, Retired educator and school administrator
TERESA SAMANIEGO, Director of Public Affairs, ABC7

Thank you - Gracias, 
Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Ph.D. 



College of Education, California State University, San Bernardino 
5500 University Parkway 

San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397 

(909) 537-5632  fax (909) 537-7040 

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Three Rivers eager to whitewash civil rights watershed by Elaine Ayala
562 federally-recognized tribes
Juana, You Will Always Live . . .Author Paul. O. Briones
Newest educational initiative from the TSHA, WEBINARS
Past Forward, A Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
New leadership at Presente.org.
Cuenta Conmigo Fundraising campaign

Three Rivers eager to whitewash civil rights watershed
By Elaine Ayala
San Antonio Express, October 18, 2015  


"Private Felix Z. Longoria (1920 – June 1945), 
was a Mexican-American soldier, who served in the United States Army during World War II and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. When he was killed at war (1945), he wasn't returned to his family for a long time (1949). Finally his body was returned, but the local funeral home denied him wake services at the home because he was Mexican American. The G.I. Forum fought for 
the injustice and eventually he was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.." 


       The Longoria Texas State historic plaque 

A small structure which identified, what helped spark the Mexican -American civil rights movement* was torn down.

Apparently razed for a parking lot, the Rice Funeral Home was where the widow of World War II hero Felix Longoria was denied a wake because, as the funeral director put it, “the whites wouldn’t like it.”

Dr. Hector P. Garcia and the American G.I. Forum heard of it and a movement was galvanized. The Longoria case exposed South Texas segregation and discrimination and still represents the racism and pain that Mexican-American soldiers endured when they returned from war, hoping finally to be afforded the same rights as others.

At the time, only Anglos were allowed to hold wakes in Three Rivers’ only funeral home. The protests got national attention and President Lyndon B. Johnson intervened to get Longoria buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Since then, some activists have come to equate the structure and marker, placed there in 2010, to Rosa Parks and the African-American civil rights struggle. Some in Three Rivers, however, have continued to deny what happened.

In 2012, the denial resurfaced in Richard Hudson, then working on a master’s degree in history at the University of North Texas. His thesis was that it didn’t occur as reported; that discrimination wasn’t the issue and that it was instead a tawdry family dispute. He attempted to debunk the story by couching it in complications and nuance that didn’t exist.

Hudson is now chair of historical markers for the Live Oak County Historical Commission.

It’s important to state that ample documentation exists for the Longoria story. A cadre of historians, respected, peer-reviewed and published, have studied the evidence to write papers, chapters and books.

Filmmaker John Valadez’s PBS documentary, “The Longoria Affair,” also depicted the divisive failed attempts to get a post office named for Longoria and the arduous work involved in getting a state historical marker. The county historical commission, ordinarily involved in such work, sat out that effort.

Sometime after the site was razed, the historical marker also came down, though details have been hard to come by.

In an email, Hudson said a car accidentally backed into it and knocked it down. Activists would believe that, if not for the lack of openness around the incident.

Chris Florance, spokesman for the Texas Historical Commission, referred most questions to the county organization, including whether the removal could result in penalties or even if a felony might have been committed. Such markers are state property. It was unclear who has possession of the marker. Calls to the property owner, to Three Rivers Mayor Sam Garcia and to Hudson weren’t returned.

In the email, Hudson said the property owner filed a police report about the marker. Santiago Hernandez, who was active in the G.I. Forum and underwrote the costs of the marker in 2010, points to a letter from the Three Rivers Police Department that says “this agency has no record of the incident.”

Hernandez, Valadez and Wanda Garcia, daughter of G.I. Forum founder Dr. Garcia, question the details that have surfaced. They sound frustrated. They’re dubious. Perhaps that’s why every time Hernandez is in Three Rivers, he drives by the marker to check it.

“I don’t trust the people there,” he says. “Here we are in 2015, and people still have those feelings.”

Historian Ignacio Garcia, author of “Hector P. Garcia: In Relentless Pursuit of Justice,” says Three Rivers is an example of a South Texas town that hasn’t dealt with its past. The author is not related to the civic rights leader.

“Three Rivers never had to deal with defeat, just bad publicity,” said Garcia, a Lanier High School grad and Brigham Young University professor. “When you don’t have this real, public discussion, you have communities that negotiate here and there, but never resolve the issue.”

“In many ways, it’s like communities such as Mathis and Pharr and Carrizo Springs,” the professor said. “They’ve dealt with the need to be sensitive to Mexican-Americans in an asymmetric way. The unevenness means they don’t challenge the economic power structure and the historical narrative it prefers.”

Sometime next week the Longoria marker will be reinstalled somewhere on city property, Hudson’s email stated. Just not where a funeral home denied Pvt. Longoria a wake.

Elaine Ayala 
San Antonio Express


**Above is a copy of a letter to Santiago Hernandez who headed the effort, and had paid for the marker honoring Felix Longoria.  Laurie Gilkerson, repeats herself three times in saying that there was never a police report made on the incident. . . . . .? 

Thank you to Santiago Hernandez and Wanda Garcia for sharing the Three Rivers Police letter.  

The photo below was taken
April 17, 2010 during the unveiling of the Longoria plaque.  It was placed in front of the Rice Funeral Home.   Sometime prior to March of this year, the Rice Funeral Home was demolished to make room for a parking lot. In March, I received word from Wanda that the historic marker and pole were gone.    She said, "I could not get any definite information on who had it."
  ~ Wanda Garcia.

Published in The Progress, October 21, 2015

Continuation of article on page 12A

Three Rivers:
The pole to the Longoria Historical Marker which was in the parking lot at 205 Thornton St. was damaged when a car backed into it last March. A police report was filed.** The Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) shipped the marker to a San Antonio foundry for repairs. The city, according to Mayor Sam Garcia, agreed to pay for repairs and shipping. The property where the marker sat originally had been turned into a parking lot for nearby businesses. The new property owner requested that the historical marker be reinstalled at a safe location elsewhere in town. Once repairs were completed, the foundry shipped the marker back to Three Rivers for reinstallation. There will be a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, at city hall. The LOCHC is a county directed program of citizens who have volunteered to help preserve the county’s history. 

The Honorable County Judge Jim Huff oversees the activities of the LOCHC. For more information, contact Richard Hudson, marker chair, LiveOakCountyHistoricalCommission, at rehudson@liveoakchc.com  or 817-896-3718. 

Editor  Mimi:  Since the Progress  newspaper article stated that the marker was going to be relocated to a safe location on public property, I called their office.  I was told that the pole and plaque (historical marker) were now in front of the Three Rivers City Hall building.  I was given their number and contacted them.  I was assured that the pole and marker were in place, but they did not have a photo on their website.  It did not appear that  it would be done.

I called Wanda Garcia and she has contacted a Three Rivers resident who will be taking some photos.  We plan to  include the photos of the news location of the Longoria marker in the December issue of Somos Primos.
This is a heavy METAL pipe. Note the photo on the left. It appears to have been sawed off, and not the result of a car backing into it. The inconsistent stories and these photos, certainly lends add to the doubt and questioning what is really going on.  It appears that the individual that purchased the property, knowing that it was a recognized historic site, went against the law and simply disposed of the problem by removing the pipe and plaque.  Photos sent by Wanda Garcia.

Although most Mexican-America historians and activists know about the Longoria case; its importance in the Civil Rights movement, on the sites gathered by a google search on the topic: timeline of civil rights movements, I did not find one mention of Longoria in the first dozen or so  those websites that I viewed. https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=timeline+of+civil+rights+movement 

Running a search on Felix Longoria will come up with many hits, but the fact that his case is not included on a TIMELINE of CIVIL RIGHTS, reinforces an on-going public ignorance of the facts of the Mexican-American contributions.  

Except for Cesar Chavez who is mentioned on a couple of the sites (but not all, and only a few of the timelines of civil rights), the contributions of the Hispanics/Latinos civil rights efforts are not included.   

Is the Three Rivers Longoria an intentional anti-Mexican exclusion, or are we at fault? Is Mexican-American leadership, not receiving sufficient community support, or just not making an effort for inclusion?  Would the agencies and government departments that are compiling Timelines of the Civil Rights Movement  be open and receptive?  It appears what is needed is more effort on our part for inclusion in American history and civil rights.   All over minority groups are lobbying for their inclusion in American history.  

With the power of the internet, and its use by students on all levels of education, our efforts for inclusion in all history focused, government mounted or 501-C3 educational non-profit  mounted websites, could make a difference. Anyone researching would find us among other groups that fought for justice.  If we are not on the sites, such as Timeline of Civil Right, the general public will think we are not on those timelines because historically we were not there. We need to change that perception by making sure that we are fairly included on US sites that purport to be US historical timelines.

We owe it to our youth and the general public to know that Latinos have fought and died for our country, not only with guns, but through community service, and within their fields of occupation, dedicated to making our country better for everyone. 
~ Mimi 

To assist in the effort of giving visibility to the Longoria case, please contact 
Santiago R. Hernandez
Cell: 361-249-5222

For more information on the history of the Longoria case, go to the following site for a series of newspaper articles on the subject.  Click here: Felix Longoria, Private, United States Army 

Project 562: 
Photos of Matika Wilbur Reveal Today’s True Native Americans”

Matika Wilbur is on a mission that will take her across the United States. Weary of stereotypical representations of Native Americans, the high school teacher is determined to photograph every federally-recognized Native American tribe in the country.  The project is called Project 562, after the 562 federally-recognized tribes. 

“When you see us represented in mass media, you see Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves and Twilight, or maybe on some Netflix series you’ll see an Indian who’s fighting with Congress to have a casino,” Wilbur said. “What you won’t see is doctors and lawyers and contemporary people living in the present.”

Wilbur, a Native American woman of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes, is out to change that. She hopes her pictures will present a well-rounded portrait of today’s Native Americans: People fighting hard to maintain tribal sovereignty and protect ancestral ways, who also have children and family problems and chaos and order and love, like any other people.

Wilbur has been on the road for more than three years now on a journey that has covered more than 250,000 miles so far.

It’s worthwhile trek, she says, to uplift young Native Americans who are inundated with stories about themselves that revolve around poverty, alcoholism, stereotypical representations, lower life expectancy and a myriad of other social problems.

“I think it’s the result of brutal colonization and the years of genocide, all of the racist federal policies: termination, relocation, assimilation,” said Wilbur. “These policies that have aimed to erase our people have left a lasting impression and we’re in the throes of attempting to recover from the sum of those experiences.”   

[Editor Mimi: Let us remember that these federal US policies were after to the Spanish colonization, in which the Spanish goal was, intermarriage, cultural blending and co-mingling of societies, which resulted in "indigenous" being the most common DNA identification among Southwest Latinos.] 

Wilbur’s venture is called Project 562, after the 562 federally-recognized tribes she plans to photograph, including some on reservations in remote areas of the country. She ultimately plans to exhibit the photos, publish them and see her images used in education curricula.

She hopes her photos will help reshape the public’s perception of who Native Americans are.  “There’s something in this collective consciousness that still believes that Indians are lesser human beings, savage, that we’re conquered,” Wilbur said. “It’s like someone is throwing stones at you and it lands somewhere. It lands somewhere on your spirit, and your heart and how you feel about yourself.”

Wilbur’s goal is for her photos to help reshape how young people, like her former high school students, feel about themselves.

Native American youth have the highest suicide levels in the country and Wilbur saw first-hand how false and outdated impressions of Native Americans negatively impacted them and how they felt about themselves.

Ultimately, she hopes her photographs of a diverse people will be not only informative, but also uplifting.
“Hopefully we create something beautiful and positive, something that shows stories of hope and endurance,” she said. “It’s not the dying race, it’s not a manifestation of a romanticized version [of a people].”

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  

Juana, You Will Always Live . . .Author Paul. O. Briones

Our Antepasados played a huge part in evangelizing North America! I have just recently confirmed of how my Paternal Antepasados played a huge role in the De Anza Expedition and the role they played in Evangelizing the Southwest alongside Father Junipero Serra! I am very proud of Pope Francis canonizing Father Junipero Serra as a SAINT!!! Now, it is our job to educate other Americans on how our ancestors contributed to this endeavor! 

Myself for example, I know that it was my 2nd Great Grand Aunt Juana Briones from Palo Alto, California that gave my Dad the idea in the HOLY SPIRIT, to give me the expectorant tea to make me cough up my Pneumococcal Pneumonia Bacteria during the prayer of the Anointing of the Sick even thou doctors had told my parents that I would NOT LIVE another 24 hours! Here I am sitting writing this e-mail when I should have passed 50 plus years ago!

Praise God and Thank you Jesus for this miracle and for my ancestors believing in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Power of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the sick!

Here is my song that speaks about this beautiful MIRACLE making history on my my ReverbNation page:
All The Best!
Paul GTO Briones

Editor Mimi: There are surely ways of sharing our family history and personal thoughts.  Paul shares his through music.  Good for him!!

Newest educational initiative from the TSHA, WEBINARS
As the newest educational initiative from the TSHA, Texas Talks, includes webinars and digital broadcasts that occur throughout the year. Texas Talks allows TSHA members to engage with preeminent Texas history scholars, who provide relevant historical information on a variety of topics in an interactive platform, ideal for general audiences, educators, and students on the go who love Texas history.

Last month, the notable Dr. Frank de la Teja gave an excellent talk on Spanish missions in Texas and discussed the experiences of Fray Margil, taking thought-provoking live questions from Texas history educators and enthusiasts who wanted to learn more about this fascinating topic. 

Upcoming presentations:  Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm Nov 2nd & Dec 7th. 

Texas State Historical Association
3001 Lake Austin Blvd.
Suite 3.116
Austin, TX 78703


Past Forward, A Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation 

What does the future hold for preservation? Find out at PastForward 2015. In the latest overview of one of the four main conference tracks, we list out preservation FUTURE programming. What does the future hold for preservation?



New leadership at Presente.org.

 Favianna Rodriguez & Oscar Chacon
It is with tremendous excitement that we announce new leadership at Presente.org. Oscar Chacon and Favianna Rodriguez will be taking over Presente.org as interim co-directors, and they will be working closely with Matt Nelson, Presente.org's new Managing Director. This powerful team of groundbreaking leaders for Latin@ equality bring several decades of combined experience working to advance the rights of Latin@s. Our outgoing executive director, Arturo Carmona, has been tapped to join Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign in a senior role.1

Six years ago, Presente.org was formed to advance Latin@ power and create winning campaigns that amplify our voices.   At that time, an end to deportations and stopping inhumane immigrant detention seemed almost unattainable. 

But today, because of the work of our hundreds of thousands of members, partner organizations, and Latin@ communities nationwide who have refused to give up the fight for equality, our movement has grown. We find ourselves now in a much better position to fundamentally change our political and day-to-day reality.

Our next phase of work is going to take additional resources. Can you make a contribution to help Favianna, Oscar, and Matt start on the strongest financial footing possible?

There is so much that needs our urgent attention — from pushing back on a culture of hate, to addressing continued mass incarceration and immigrant detention of our people, to ending the use of toxic fossil fuels and addressing climate change. We have a lot of work to do.

In just the last two years, we’ve successfully helped push President Obama to stop deportations of millions of young immigrants and their parents. We played a central role in the media justice space, holding major corporations like Comcast and other telecoms accountable to the interest of Latino families. And we’ve effectively given voice to Latinos on issues of criminal justice, who are disproportionately victimized by law enforcement around the nation.

Presente.org is powered by you, the members. It's why getting your support is so key to this transition. So please, support this work during this critical movement-building moment.

Our communities are facing tremendous violence and hateful discrimination, despite these victories. We are arrested at higher rates for crimes we commit at far lower rates. Latinos are the fastest growing incarcerated population as a result of the highly punitive immigration law now in effect and the Obama Administration's’ brutal enforcement practices. Latinas make only 55% of what white men make for the same hour of work. Racial inequality is rampant. Latinos are disproportionately affected by climate change. We face sky-high cancer and asthma rates from toxic fossil fuel facilities in our communities, along with extreme flooding and droughts caused by the same fossil fuel corporations, and climate change.

With our new leadership, Presente.org will continue to fight for Latin@ equality. We will hold Democrats and Republicans accountable. 

Sent by Sister Mary Sevilla marysevilla@mac.com



Japanese Surrender - Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945.
The American civil war, then and now
La vuelta a España de Cuba, Puerto Rico y Filipinas 
September 29th, 1856 -- First Polish Church in American Consecrated
October 1st, 1837 -- General Texas Land Office opens
Session Recordings from 2015 National Rosenwald Schools Conference 
Killing Zapata
Celebrations of the 500 years Fundación Puerta de América

Sent by Edward Morin eddie_morin@sbcglobal.net
and didi4history@gmail.com 


Japanese Surrender - Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945.
A Rare Record of History

This is a 'must see' for the WWII history buff or anyone interested in history. Interesting the other signers to the document, from Australia / New Zealand to Europe & Russia. This is an actual film made of the surrender ceremony of the Japanese to McArthur in Tokyo Bay in September 1945. Actual voice of the General.  

This film brings chills, pride, tears and many other emotions along with prayers for our fathers, other relatives, and friends who gave themselves for our freedoms.
Sent by Oscar Ramirez  osramirez@sbcglobal.net 

50 WWII Colorized Photos

World War Two black and white photos, researched and colorized in detail by Doug and other artists from the 'Colourisehistory Group.' These 50 breathtaking colorized photos look like they were taken yesterday.

Sent by Oscar Ramirez 

The American civil war, then and now
The women who dug the graves, the kids who watched the largest battle in US history – and the slaves forced to help fighters at the front. 150 years after the last shots were fired, Guardian photographer David Levene traveled across the US photographing the sites scarred by the American civil war. 
You can switch between the then and now photos by dragging the 
white dot to the left or right...   Be sure and listen to the narrative for each pictures Click here:

Sent by Val Valdez Gibbons

This was quite a project . . finding and matching the locations and then the correct angle . . . plus maneuvering between the before and after. . .  neat.   Good for the photographer!! Mimi


Check out Por la vuelta a España de Cuba, Puerto Rico y Filipinas
Despues de ayudar a EEUU a su independencia, nos lo pagaron arrebatandonos de nuestros compatriotas de Cuba, Puerto Rico y Filipinas. Queremos su vuelta.  

Not much space is given in U.S. history books about this fact:  After Spain helped to the United States obtain its independence from the English, the United States wrestled Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spain.  Click here: Por la vuelta a España de Cuba, Puerto Rico y Filipinas

Sent by C.A. Campos y Escalante 

============================ =========================================
September 29th, 1856 -- First Polish Church in American Consecrated

On this day in 1856, Father Leopold Moczygemba consecrated the first Polish Catholic church in the United States at Panna Maria, Texas. Father Moczygemba, 
a native of Silesia born in 1824, came to Texas in 1852 and began urging his fellow countrymen to leave the harsh economic conditions of their homeland and settle in Texas. In 1854 Polish immigrants had journeyed to Karnes County in South Texas and celebrated Christmas Mass with Moczygemba under a live oak tree at the future church site. They founded the community of Panna Maria, Polish for “Virgin Mary.” In addition to the church, pioneers also established St. Joseph’s School, the first Polish school in America, and new waves of immigration after 1865 led to the settlement of other Polish communities in the area such as Cestohowa, Kosciusko, and Falls City. Panna Maria remained a rural hamlet in the twentieth century but enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest permanent Polish settlement in 
the United States.

October 1st, 1837 -- 
General TEXAS Land Office opens

On this day in 1837, John P. Borden opened the General Land Office in Houston. John, with his brother Gail Borden Jr., had surveyed and laid out the town of Houston in 1836. As first commissioner of the new land office, John Borden faced the monumental job of compiling and preserving the many Spanish and Mexican land titles issued before the republic. He began with no funds or employees to assist him, yet by the end of 1837 he had successfully acquired documents from all over Texas. He also registered and surveyed new grants. In 1839 he moved the General Land Office to Austin and transported almost 5,000 pounds of documents by wagon. The military bounties, veteran donations, head-rights, and homestead preemptions issued by Borden and successive commissioners amounted to more than 75 million acres granted to individuals.

PREEMPTIONS< definition
a. The right to purchase something before others, especially the right to purchase public land that is granted to one who has settled on that land.
b. A purchase made by such a right.

2. Prior seizure of, appropriation of, or claim to something, such as property.

4. Law The doctrine that federal law takes precedence over state law.

Source: Day by Day, 
Texas State Historical Association

Session Recordings from 2015 National Rosenwald Schools Conference 
Available For Viewing

Eight recorded education sessions from the 2015 National Rosenwald Schools Conference in Durham plus the Opening and Closing plenaries are available. Topics covered include Restoring Your Rosenwald School: A Road Map to Success, Successful Rehabilitation Strategies, Oral History Collecting, Preservation of Historical Rosenwald School Collections, Online Tools for Touring and Evaluating Rosenwald Schools, Reflections on Rosenwald, and Understanding Your Building’s Needs: Practical Care and Maintenance of Rosenwald Schools. 

Click HERE for the playlist of session recordings:


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 
2600 Virginia Ave. NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20037
202.588.6000 | 800.315.6847

Killing Zapata

  September 15, 2015 

Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary general 

On the morning of April 10, 1919, Emiliano Zapata rode toward the Hacienda de Chinameca in his home state of Morelos. The general —known as “the Attila of the South,” leader of the Ejército Libertador del Sur— was there to meet with a colonel under the command of Pablo González, the carrancista general who had been pursuing Zapata for much of the year.

On the morning of April 10, 1919, Emiliano Zapata rode toward the Hacienda de Chinameca in his home state of Morelos. The general —known as “the Attila of the South,” leader of the Ejército Libertador del Sur— was there to meet with a colonel under the command of Pablo González, the carrancista general who had been pursuing Zapata for much of the year.

The colonel had lured the wily revolutionary with a promise to switch sides and join the zapatista revolution, which for almost eight long years had been demanded nothing more than “food and liberty, a happy home, and a future of independence,” as the group’s 1914 Manifesto to the Mexican People read.

“The campesino is hungry, endures misery, suffers exploitation,” the zapatistas stated in 1914, “and if he rose up in arms, it was to obtain the bread that the rich man’s greed denied him; to seize the land that the hacendado egotistically kept for himself.”

Zapata himself had been a reluctant revolutionary. Born in a rural village in Morelos,  the future hero of the Mexican Revolution first made a name for himself as a skilled  charro, the outfit of which Zapata donned till the day he died.

When Francisco Madero called for an end to the 34-year-long porfiriato in November 1910, Zapata quickly sided with Madero and his allies, hoping the revolution would lead to the kind of radical land reform the people of Mexico desperately needed. Yet Zapata soon grew disillusioned with Madero and other caudillos who called themselves revolutionaries but only seemed to be after power.

After nearly a decade of fighting that saw him traverse the length of Mexico several times on horseback, by 1919 the 39-year-old rebel longed to claim victory, implement his Plan of Ayala, and return to the peaceful hills of his ancestors. But it was not to be.

As one of his men would later write:

The rest of the people stayed under the trees, confidently resting in the shade with their carbines stacked. Having formed ranks, [the colonel’s] guard looked ready to do him the honors. Three times the bugle sounded the honor call; and as the last note died away, as the General in Chief reached the threshold of the door … at point blank, without giving him time even to draw his pistols, the soldiers who were presenting arms fired two volleys, and our unforgettable General Zapata fell never to rise again.

Remembering Zapata is how we celebrate our heritage.


Celebrations of  the 500 years Fundación Puerta de América
Buenos dias
A partir de 1992 se empezaron a conmemorar los 500 años del Aniversario del Descubrimiento de América por los reinos españoles. Sucesivamente muchos lugares dependiendo de su fecha de fundación han seguido la tradición de celebrar este gran evento 
u sus respectivas fundaciones. Muchos lugares ya han llegado al V Centenario y otros se preparan para ello. Igualmente lo hacen los puertos españoles de donde partieron esas increibles expediciones de avanzada conformadas por osados exploradores que fundaron las naciones de la actual América.
Esta página de internet pretende recordar estos eventos para la posteridad y numerosas ciudades iberoamericanas se preparan también para recordar a estos fundadadores de nuestras actuales ciudades. Es de importancia para sus descendientes, los españoles de ultramar recordar y perpetuar estos eventos que cambiaron la historia del mundo en los siglos XV y XVI y que fueron el origen de nuestras naciones iberoamericanas. Hasta el los EEUUA ya empezaron a celebrar el 450 aniversario de la fundación de San Agustín en Florida con la asistencia de los Reyes de España. En Veracruz ya se está organizando el 500 aniversario dentro de un par de años.

En el enlace abajo se puede conocer lo que hacen en San Lucar de Barrameda, Andalucia como la Puerta hacia América.  Espero lo encuentren de interés.


Louise Ano Nuevo Kerr, Pioneer Chicana Historian   1938-2015
Latino Muralist 'Antonio Ramos'  1988-2015
Alex Nieto, Native American Activist  1977 - 2015
Yolie Hernandez, una Comadre    October 7, 2015
Larry Kirkpatrick, Texas Historian and Researcher  1943 - 2015 

Louise Ano Nuevo Kerr

Pioneer Chicana Historian



Former resident of Moraga, Louise A. Kerr, a historian and university administrator who retired in 1998 with her husband to Moraga, died surrounded by family Monday, August 31, at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD. She was 76, and the immediate cause was an infection. 

Kerr was born Virginia Louise Ano Nuevo in 1938 in Denver, Co., to Bonifacio Benjamin Ano Nuevo, a native Filipino, and Rosana Bertha Lopez Ano Nuevo of Co., both farm workers. She grew up in central coastal California, the oldest of four siblings, and in off-school hours worked the fields with her family.

Encouraged by a typing instructor, she graduated from Watsonville High School with a scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles, earning an M.A. in sociology. She married Howard H. Kerr (then finishing graduate studies in American literature) and moved with him to Evanston, Il., where she taught two young daughters an ethos of public service through volunteer work with the League of Women Voters and in the movement to desegregate schools. 

She completed graduate work in U.S. history at the University of Illinois at Chicago and wrote a dissertation, The Chicano Experience in Chicago, 1920-70, that was a breakthrough study of the Mexican-American migration to the urban midwest. Believing that academics should engage the public, Kerr advocated for the then-nascent fields of ethnic and urban history, oral history, and public history.

She received multiple honors and fellowships, contributed to essay collections and periodicals, and was named associate dean at Loyola and, eventually, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1980 to 1987, Kerr was among historian advisers during preparations to re-open Ellis Island as a memorial museum, and she was recognized by an oral history project of Smith College honoring pioneers of women's history.

In 1998, Kerr retired with her husband to California's East Bay. She attended First Congregational Church of Berkeley, sang alto in the Moraga community chorus, and served on the board of Shelter Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to shielding the poor from homelessness. In 2012 she relocated to the Riderwood retirement community in Silver Spring, Md., to be near family. 

A life-long supporter and student of the arts, she organized a Chinese brush painting class and was active until her death on Riderwood's Scholarship, African-American History, and Gala Planning committees. She was celebrated by friends old and new for her forthright spirit, range of insight, and the graceful resolve with which she sought and shared joy through five decades of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Predeceased by her beloved husband, Howard H. Kerr, she was devoted to the well-being of two daughters: Catherine, of Watertown, Ma., and her husband, Jonathan Kranes, and Sarah, of North Bethesda, Md., and her husband, Michael Tomasky; a granddaughter, Margot Julianna Kerr Tomasky; a stepdaughter, Lizabeth Kerr, of Costa Mesa, Ca.; two sisters, Clara Neebling of Red Bluff, Ca., and Delores Broetzman of Las Vegas, Nev., a brother, Ben Ano Nuevo, also of Red Bluff; a sister-in-law, Janice Kerr, of Orinda, Ca., and numerous nieces and nephews. Donations in her memory, marked "memorial for Louise Kerr," may be made to the Riderwood scholarship fund (dedicated to helping that community's staff obtain a higher education) and mailed to Riderwood Philanthropy Department, 3110 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904.

Published in Contra Costa Times on Sept. 16, 2015
Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.  

Latino Muralist
 'Antonio Ramos'


Recent tragedy taking a young Latino artist, leader in his work, and community, murdered while  in the process of painting a mural on a city building. 

An artist was shot in Oakland while painting a mural on a freeway overpass. Authorities confirmed Antonio Ramos, 27, was participating in the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project when he was killed. 

Read more at:

Voices of those who knew and or worked with this fine young man, of 27 years of age. “Antonio Ramos”. 

An evidence technician waits to measure the scene of a fatal shooting in the 3500 block of West Street, beneath Interstate 580, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland Police officials say an artist working on a community mural in a freeway underpass was shot and killed after an apparent argument with the shooter. (D. Ross Cameron/Oakland Tribune via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

As for many, such as I, and those who are involved in various communities, looking and paving ways to help and support those with less than, and for the innocence of the youth who live there, carry a heavy heart for the loss of an brave, innocent man, who had yet to reach his pinnacle in life. Some neighborhoods, communities, are areas that people fear to tread. Areas that takes more than just a touch. This young man, and others like him, take part peacefully, and give of themselves to reach and place a smile and touch their hearts. Using Art as the voice and visual talent displayed, that can be learned by many. Going to school, partake in a arts program, something of the sorts that stimulate the minds of our youth. As following words by a person who knew him; “That’s just the kind of kid he was… He was super willing to help. He was very reliable and just had the sort of naiveté that was so fun to be around.”

These are being echoed by many, many as news of his life taken, reaches their ears. “Antonio Ramos”, whose name is now being heard in many parts of the country, out of the East Bay, his work is being known. Along with those other fellow muralist, he was creating this ‘Super Heroes’ project in art form for anyone to see, “Antonio Ramos”, is now one in spirit. We believe his contributions, his dedication, his love of the arts, music, and more that he took his brush and with every stroke, brought forward his dream force to see. The diverse cultures he reached and touched the hearts in doing so, will never be forgotten. Some called him a ‘soldier’, standing for the good that exists in any community no matter how hard it may be or seem. Antonio Ramos, 27 years of age, his work will not go unfinished. His fellow muralists, will see to that if not more. (Has been decided, the muralist will paint a picture of Antonio on site.) 

In closing, unfortunately, his family, and closest friends bears the pain in losing their loved one to a senseless cruelty, no matter what that individual was looking to gain in killing him. We pray and hope that such atrocities someday ends. Those of us who are fathers, mothers, who have a son, daughter, who are led to partake in their communities, other, via their works, is not only a treasure in your household family, but, to others as well. Let him or her know, the love is there for what they do.

I’ve received notes by many muralists, artists themselves, entertainers, via other site, who send their thoughts to “Antonio Ramos”. Yes, R.I.P, Antonio, the world has lost your presence, but, your spirit and experiences will live in the hearts of your loved ones, your community, and the children you embraced. Oakland become stronger in his work. 

Attached link for support to his family needs of Antonio Ramos. 
https://www.youcaring.com/antonio-s-parents-442193  Donations accepted . (non taxable) 
Voices and prayers as community, supporters stands together.

  “Idealist” who loved community.

En Paz, Peace. 
Kentara Padron 
Universal Hispanic/Latino Chicano Community Cultural Info. & Events News Outreach 


Frankie Rivera (at right) attends a protest for Alex Nieto on March 29, 2014. 
Photo Santiago Mejía

Native American activist 
goes out fighting

September 10, 2015 
Alexis Terrazas


Frankie was a common presence in community rallies and protests. When it came to standing for the rights of others, Frankie Rivera could be counted on.

A dedicated activist who attended numerous marches and demonstrations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area armed with his Native American drum and long braided hair, Rivera died on Aug. 29 of brain cancer. He was 38.

“His passion was second to none when it came to fighting for the rights of people. You gotta respect a man for that,” said Ray Ysaguirre, a longtime friend of Rivera. “No matter what went on, this guy traveled from Sacramento on, just to be on the front lines. I call him a ‘front-line brother.’”

Born in San Francisco’s Mission District, Rivera grew up at 22nd and Florida streets, just two blocks from where Ysaguirre’s family lived. Rivera was often seen prominently marching with the help of a prosthetic leg—whether it was up Bernal Hill demanding justice for Alex Nieto, protesting outside of Local’s Corner after the restaurant refused to serve Sandy Cuadra and her family, or protesting alongside AIM-West members against the oppression of indigenous peoples.

Rivera wasn’t always an activist though. A man of Navajo and Taíno ancestry, Rivera didn’t meet his biological mother until the age of 15, and was serving a 10-year prison sentence by age 19.

“I always deep down inside had the spirituality inside, but lived a thug life of crime,” Rivera wrote on his Native American Prisoner Network profile while still incarcerated.

It was in prison where Rivera learned about his roots from fellow Native Americans and decided to dedicate his life to activism.

“He’s had it rough,” Ysaguirre said. “He made a few mistakes, like most of us. And he just bounced back. He’s one of the most socially conscious brothers that I have ever met.”

Lee Polanco, an elder with the Texas-based Coahuiltecan tribe who has counseled Native American inmates across the country, first met Rivera at the California Medical Facility, a state prison in Vacaville.

One day when he entered his office at the prison, Polanco noticed a young man cleaning the floor on his hands and knees. Polanco later learned that man was Rivera, and grew curious as to why the active Rivera wasn’t participating in the sweat lodge ceremonies. He later learned that Rivera had HIV, and that he didn’t want to make the other inmates feel uncomfortable by smoking from the same pipe.

“He never gave up. I think highly of him,” Polanco said on the Sept. 2 Bay Native Circle radio show. “Navajo’s should be very proud of him. Taíno’s should be very proud of him. He made mistakes, but he had a good heart.”

After being released from prison, Rivera met Jackeline Oms online, where the two began a long distance relationship about nine years ago.

“It just hurts that he’s gone. And I didn’t get a chance to see him, to hold his hand and be there for him. I didn’t get a chance to tell him face to face that I love him,” Oms said.

She recalled their early years when Rivera would talk at length about the American Indian movement, even educating Oms on her own native Taíno history. She also remembers their most recent conversations, where Rivera revealed his struggles to find food to eat and about being taken advantage of by roommates.

“It hurt me so much to hear him constantly say he was lonely. He wanted to see me, and I was struggling to get to him. But I couldn’t,” Oms said.

Fighting her own battle with papillary thyroid cancer, Oms had planned to make the lengthy trip from New York to California to visit with Rivera. Her health however never allowed for that.

“It’s been a real struggle for me. I’m not aware of how much time left I have,” Oms said. “But at the end of the day, I feel like the best experience I’ve had in my life was meeting Franklin.”

Rivera is survived by his mother Laurene Killip, father Frank, step mother Linda, sisters Alicia, Celia, Josephina, Jasmine, Iesha and Celina, brothers Remo, Shaw and Bobby, and numerous other friends and family.
For those who wish to donate towards Rivera’s funeral and medical expenses, visit gofundme.com/xa2yzuqk

A Poem for Frankie by Jackeline Oms

You left with my heart when You departed & now my soul is empty
My lips are left without a word my tongue utters nonsense…my hands and knees quiver from the clammy coldness

I feel like ice. Here in my chest I bear a void where my heart used to live…now what in an instant had become vacant here in this void a new and deep embedded pain has settled.
Once inside these walls where I had hung pictures up in frames of all the wonderful times we had, things You did to make me laugh, the smiles You gave me when You was admiring my pouty looks whenever I’d get mad at You…

Wiping away my tears & telling me You loved me…Here where all our memories lay there is turbulence…swirling like a typhoon.

I try to find my heart but then remember…You have it

So the pain then intensifies & the turbulence gets worse. Now ripping apart those frames & tearing my walls down…sending them flying out into oblivion.

My being is disintegrating.
All remnants of me are being expunged
Only You can save me…You are My Heart…Without You I can’t be put together.

My life shatters and glistens like black ice in the pale moonlight…leaving little glimmers of hope that maybe one day You will come back to me…Until then I will live out the rest of this nightmare until You come & wake me up.

“Nanichi…Da Cuyo…Da Guey…Da Kai…Da Karaya…Da Tureygua…Turey…Ki’. Wait for me.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 


Yolie Hernandez . . . una Comadre 

Queridas Comadres:   
We are saddened to be share that our dearest comadre Yolie Hernandez passed away on Wednesday, October 7.  We all loved her vibrant spirit and her strength to combat cancer. She always appreciated the support of her Comadres and never missed a Comadrazo until the last one. We even enjoyed her being to Austin for the national Comadrazo in April of this year. Yolie always said that her strength and determination came from the
support of all of us, her Comadres.

We already miss her but we know she will remain in the hearts of all those she touched.  Yolanda was a coordinator in Los Angeles from the day we started until the day she died. Our deepest sympathy to her family. 

Las Comadres Board
Gloria Williams, Chair, San Diego, CA
Annabelle Arteaga, Secretary, Austin, TX
Lupe Morin, Treasurer, Austin, TX

Ana Nogales, Irvine, CA
Audrey Ponzio, Austin, TX
Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Austin, TX

Larry Kirkpatrick, Texas Historian and Researcher
                              1943 - 2015 

Larry Kirkpatrick entered eternal rest on Friday, October 9, 2015 at the age of 72. Larry was a Texas native born in Junction, Texas. After serving as a Capt. in the Air Force, flying B52's in Vietnam, he began his civil service career of 30 years with the Internal Revenue Service. He received a Masters Degree in Accounting and a Masters of Library Science in order to do what he loved most - research Texas history (especially Spanish Colonial period) and genealogy.

Larry also worked as a librarian for the San Antonio Public Library System and retired to work at the Palo Alto College Library. Larry always had his hand in more than a handful of research projects and then some. He was a very active member of Los Bexarenos Genealogical and Historical Society, Los Granaderos de Galvez, and the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library (Texana). 

He is survived by his wife and best friend, Yolanda and three adult children: Howard Murphy of Virginia, Paul Murphy of Boerne and Patty Galindo of San Antonio. He is also survived by grandchildren: Emily, Jack, Kate and Luke Murphy, Bobby III, James and Sarah Galindo, Nathan, Paul and Victoria Murphy, Matthew, Maria and Melanie Perez and three great-grandchildren: Bobby IV, Matthew., and Mason; brother-in-law, Robert Garcia (Sylvia); sister-in-law, Olga Lizcano (Manuel); and numerous nieces and nephews. Larry was known by his family and friends to be generous, supportive and loving and always willing to help anyone. He will be greatly missed. 

Interment was at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Tuesday, October 13 at 10:15 a.m. 

Sent by Joe Perez  


Latino soldiers
 Cebu, Phillipines, WW II


Worn Out Flags and Eyesore for Vets by Dianne de Guzman
Tortillas in Vietnam, all in 1968 by Luis Ramirez
Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance


Victory Store's Raymond Prather, left, and Eddie Grijalva, Korean Veteran, hold a flag that Prather donated to a Vallejo business that was
 a tattered flag.   Photo Chris Riley  Times-Herald 

By Dianne de Guzman

When the American flag is flown, it serves as a patriotic symbol for those who see its stars and stripes.
As time goes on and flags become more worn down, it becomes easy to overlook the tattered edges. And a tattered flag always has captured the attention of Korean War veteran and Vallejo resident Edward Grijalva.

Grijalva says a number of businesses own wind-battered flags — something he wishes more business owners would take note of and replace.  “Probably they’re not aware (of the state of their flag),” Grijalva said of the businesses. “A lot of people, they’re too busy. Who could care less about a flag? It’s no big thing to a lot of people.

“It’s time to change that. See, I notice those things. People don’t notice these things.”  While flag upkeep isn’t always something at the top of people’s everyday priority lists, the flag — and its upkeep — matters to most veterans.

For John Baptista, a former war veteran and now building manager for the Vallejo Veterans’ Memorial Building, seeing a worn out flag is troubling.

“It hits us probably as much as it hits anybody because being veterans, you volunteered for the flag and the country,” Baptista said. “We kind of look at that as, ‘What did we go to service for?’ That makes it one of the things that we hate to see something like that.”  “That’s my feeling, anyway,” Baptista added.

The American Legion has a flag code governing how flags should be displayed or destroyed once the flag is no longer suitable for use.

Victory Stores owner Raymond Prather manages the upkeep of several flags along the outside of his shop on Virginia Street in downtown Vallejo. For Prather, it’s important to ensure the American flag looks good at all times.

Because of this, Prather donated a new flag to a Vallejo business for Grijalva, who had noticed a tattered flag outside the business.

“The American flag is so important to me,” Prather said. “I had somebody ask me one time, ‘Why is it so important to you?’ I said, ‘You know, the real question is, why isn’t it important? Why shouldn’t it be important?’ “It’s the American flag. It should have all the importance in the world,” Prather concluded.
For Grijalva, and other veterans, the flag is more than just a rectangular piece of fabric.

“It’s a symbol,” Grijalva said. “You talk to any military man, especially anybody that fought in the wars.”
Explaining how he was drafted at 18 years old to serve in the Korean War and how his older brother served in World War II, Grijalva said that the flag means a lot to those who were in the military.

“It took many, many millions of lives to have this freedom andthe symbol of that American flag, which I respect,” Grijalva said. “It’s a flag, but it’s a symbol of what we stand for.

“I respect it very much and I put my time in when I was a young man to defend it, because I didn’t want the aggression to come to the United States with my family here,” Grijalva added.

Because of that symbolism to so many, Grijalva said he just hopes more people would take the time to look at their flags and replace those that are weathered.

“It comes down to that flag: The freedom,” Grijalva said. “To protect our freedom and fight for what we believe in. It’s a high price. Freedom is not free, you know that. There’s a big price to pay and that’s my sentiment.”

For those looking to properly destroy an American flag, the Vallejo Veterans’ Memorial Building collects flags that are burned ceremoniously on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.Contact Dianne de Guzman at 707-553-6833.

Victory Store’s Raymond Prather, left, and Edward Grijalva, a Korean War veteran, hold a flag that Prather donated to a Vallejo business that was a tattered flag.

ddeguzman@timesheraldonline.com @DianneVTH on Twitter

Sent by Eddie Grijalva  


Tortillas in Vietnam, all in 1968 by Luis Ramirez


I read with interest your take on Taco USA, How Mexican Food Conquered America, and how Flour tortillas are now being used in space.   Having grown up with tacos since I was a kid, I know what it means to us as our daily staple diet.   It wasn’t always this easy growing up in the late fifties.  When my mom made me some huevo con frijoles tacos for my school lunch I had to hide from my white friends to eat them while  they ate their ham sandwiches. But that was life back then.   

A few years later I get married, my wife gets pregnant, and I get called up to serve in Vietnam, all in 1968.   While there I receive a package from my wife with about 50 flour tortillas that took about ten to fifteen days to get to our small camp in the Mekong Delta.  They were packed very well in a box and sealed with double plastic.  The first four or five tortillas on each side of the stack were green with mold, but other than that the others were so yummy!  We heated them and stuffed them with whatever “C”rations we had available y “pa’-dentro”.   No, we didn’t get sick. For the Hispanics at the camp it was a feast we will never forget.  Even the VC gooks gave us a break that night and didn’t lob any mortar rounds our way.   Yes, there are things in life you will never forget.

Luis Ramirez  1luis.ramirez@gmail.com 

Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance
The legendary Borinqueneers & all Latino-American heroes:

Latino-American Heroes!
At Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance, our historic efforts are dedicated to our Borinqueneer heroes, and to all Latino-American veterans who have served & sacrificed in the cause of freedom.  We salute them all!  You can use the button below to contact us to suggest a Latino-American hero to add to this page. Suggest a Latino Hero!


"Honor and Fidelity"   (Faithfulness)], the motto of the 65th Inf. Reg. Borinqueneers who hailed from Puerto Rico, & who served the cause of freedom with distinction & heroism from 1899 through the Korean War, all the while suffering the additional hurdles of segregation & prejudice, which did not deter them. Their souls, both of the handful of living heroes and the thousands of honored dead, reach out to us, the volunteers and supporters of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance, and to all like-minded men & women of goodwill. 
We include all Latino-American veterans who have served and sacrificed in the cause of freedom.  They, too, are remembered and honored.  Our historic efforts are dedicated to them as well, and we salute them with the eternal gratitude that is underscored by the statement, "Freedom is NOT free."
On this page is just a small sampling of those who we hold high.  
General (Retired) Richard E. Cavazos
He was awarded his 1st Distinguished Service Cross, 1st Silver Star, & 1st Purple Heart while serving as a 65th Inf. Reg. Borinqueneer in Korea.
A Mexican-American, Richard Cavazos was born in Texas and excelled in the ROTC program while attending college at Texas Tech.  His first Army combat assignment was as a young Borinqueneer officer in Korea.  There, he earned the admiration and respect of the Puerto Rican soldiers, and became known as a true soldiers' officer.  See our Historia page for more on Gen. Cavazos, including his Borinqueneer Distinguished Service Cross citation.

Sgt. Peralta gave his life for his fellow Marines
Sgt. Rafael Peralta, 1979-2004
"In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate."
Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year old brother, "be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American."

Rafael Peralta was born on April 7, 1979 in Mexico City. Son of Rafael and Rosa Peralta, the oldest of four, with siblings Icelda, Karen and Ricardo, he immigrated to the United States, graduated from Morse High School in 1997, and joined the United States Marine Corps as soon as he had a green card in 2000. He later became an American citizen while serving in the Marine Corps.

On November 15, 2004, 25 year old Sgt. Peralta, deployed to Iraq as a scout team leader assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, along with his team was ordered to clear houses in the Operation Phantom Fury. Peralta was not assigned to enter the buildings, but chose to do so anyway.

Sergeant Peralta led his team through a series of house clearings before charging into the fourth house. He found two rooms empty on the ground floor. Peralta opened a third door and was hit multiple times with AK-47 fire, leaving him severely wounded. He dropped to the floor and moved aside in order to allow the Marines behind him to return fire.

The insurgents responded by throwing a grenade at the Marines. The two Marines with Sgt. Peralta tried to get out of the room but could not. Sgt. Peralta was still conscious on the floor and reports indicate that despite his wounds, he was able to reach for the grenade and pull it under his body absorbing the majority of the lethal blast and shrapnel which killed him instantly, but saved the lives of his fellow Marines.

He received the Navy Cross posthumously in 2008.
His comrades, family, veterans, and many others have also supported the cause that Sgt. Peralta be awarded with the Congressional Medal of Honor. We hope so, too. 

US Army Sgt. Isela Rubalcava
We hold high all military men & women who gave their lives in the line of duty, serving their country in the cause of freedom.  The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Army Sgt. Isela Rubalcava, died in combat while serving in the war in Iraq in 2004. She joined a long list of Latinos and other Americans who, before her and after her, served and sacrificed for their precious country and its people.  We salute them all, and pledge not to take for granted their legacy and the liberties and opportunities that they sought to protect!
See Fox News Latino story on Sgt. Rubalcava from Memorial Day 2012: 

Sergeant First Class Pedro A. Munoz Yambo, United States Army, was awarded the Silver Star (Posthumously) for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Operations and Intelligence Sergeant assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, while conducting an offensive operation in Shindand, Afghanistan, on 2 January 2005. On that date, while in pursuit of a mid-level Taliban commander, Sergeant Munoz entered a room filled with women and children, when an enemy fighter opened fire on him. In spite of his wounds, Sergeant Munoz returned fire and killed his assailant without harming anyone else. His dedication and his courage are evident through his actions: protecting innocent life, staying in the fight without thought for himself while supporting his teammates, allowing them to successfully accomplish their mission. Sergeant First Class Munoz's gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
See archived U.S. News & World Report story to learn more about "Papi".

Master Sergeant Raul (Roy) Perez Benavidez (August 5, 1935 – November 29, 1998) was a member of the Studies and Observations Group of the United States Army.  He received the Medal of Honor for his heroic and unparalleled actions in combat near L?c Ninh, South Vietnam on May 2, 1968.
Please see the excellent Wikipedia article on MSG Benavidez. We also highly recommend the YouTube video below.  - See more at:  

Sent by Joe Sanchez 


Order of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez in Washington, D.C.
Heritage Project: Bernardo de Gálvez Statue Plaza in Galveston
Spanish Adelantados, not Conquistadores 

 Order of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez  

The Order of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez conducted its National Meeting on October 9 and 10, 2015 in Washington , D.C.   The Chapters from San Antonio , Houston , Jacksonville and Pensacola were welcomed by the host chapter in D.C. for a very productive weekend.

The events kicked off on Friday, October 9th with a luncheon at the historic Phoenix Park Hotel in the heart of Capitol Hill just one block from Union Station.  After the lunch, Bill Adriance of the Bernardo de Gálvez Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution in Galveston , Texas , gave a presentation on the project to erect a statue of Gálvez in Galveston , hopefully, within the next year if enough donations are received.  Newly-inducted Granadero, Marec Bela Steffens, gave a presentation on the Gálvez Opera Project, whereby he will work on an opera celebrating the life and times of Bernardo de Gálvez and his heroic accomplishments during our American Revolution.  Mr. Marec is a successful writer of librettos for operas.

After the presentations, members were treated to a private tour of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Meeting Room where, just last December, a portrait of Bernardo de Gálvez was hung to honor his contributions to our War of Independence.  His is one of only seven portraits currently hung in this historic room.

Later that evening, members attended a special reception at the Spanish Embassy where they were acknowledged by the His Excellency Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares from the Spanish Embassy.

On Saturday, October 10th, the National Meeting was conducted, starting with a viewing of the documentary, “Bernardo de Gálvez – A Living Legacy” followed by several business activities including installation of new officers.  The governors of each chapter presented their chapter reports covering all the activities throughout the past twelve months.  After a delicious lunch, the organization presented a Certificate of Membership to Teresa Valcarce, who was responsible for the hanging of the Gálvez portrait in the U.S. Senate.

Later in the afternoon, members met at the large equestrian statue of Gálvez near the State Department for a special wreath-laying presentation.  Houston Chapter Governor Richard Espinosa served as Emcee for the ceremony, which included speeches by Spanish Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares and San Antonio Chapter Governor Joe Perez.  Special guests included Brigadier General Angel Valcárcel, Navy Captain José M. Martinez, Attache Fernando Valencia, Joe Dooley (SAR Past President), Dr. Larrie Ferreiro (Director of Research DAU) and Teresa Valcarce.  Members of the Washington D.C. Chapter, in authentic 18th century Spanish military uniforms, provided pomp and circumstance by leading the wreath-laying at the base of the Gálvez statue.

Members of the Order of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez left the National Meeting events motivated to continue their efforts to educate the public about Spain ’s substantial contributions to the American Revolution


Sent by Joe Perez, jperez329@satx.rr.com 

Bernardo de Gálvez Statue Plaza. 

The Bernardo de Gálvez Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, located in Galveston, Texas, is seeking grant funding to develop the Bernardo de Gálvez Statue Plaza. The proposed park space features a larger-than-life-size bronze statue commissioned to commemorate General Bernardo de Gálvez, a Spanish hero of the American Revolutionary War. The monument will be prominently located in Menard Park on Seawall Boulevard near the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, an entertainment complex that welcomes five million visitors from Houston and the Gulf Coast each year. This community development project combines visual arts, preservation of Galveston park space, public education, and a patriotic honoring of our ethnically diverse ancestors.  

Chartered by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1893, the Bernardo de Gálvez Chapter is a subordinate of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit leading male lineage organization. Sons of the American Revolution seeks, through historic, educational, and patriotic activities, to maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism, respect for our national symbols, the value of American citizenship, and the unifying force of E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one. The chapter meets monthly and contributes to Harris and Galveston Counties through educational functions, parades, presentations and ceremonies for veterans and first responders, recognition of participants in ROTC, scouting, and public service, and other events as representatives of the Sons of the American Revolution.  

Patriotism is at the forefront of American culture, especially since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. There is renewed interest in learning about our past, and the Bernardo de Gálvez Statue Plaza project offers an opportunity to connect residents of the Gulf Coast with early revolutionary patriots who lived in the area during a great period in the nation’s history. Following the Spanish-American War of 1898, references to Spanish and Mexican patriots were removed from many history books. This monument will help fill in those omissions by commemorating Spain’s contribution toward removing the British from the Gulf Coast during the American Revolution, and will fittingly honor the accomplishments of Spanish war hero Gálvez in the town named for him. The project will raise awareness of the multi-ethnic army of Spaniards, Mestizos, Creoles, Indians and free Africans that Gálvez raised in order to defeat British troops on the Gulf Coast. It will serve to educate a public that may not realize its heritage as descendants of patriots who fought for American independence. Lastly, the plaza will add to the general appeal of the City of Galvestons Menard Park with a magnificent piece of art.  

The proposed site was selected by the Chapter to maximize exposure to the statue. The plaza will finish and improve the eastern Seawall corner of Menard Park with landscaping, descriptive weather-proof history signage, and commemorative brick and granite dedication plaques. Renowned Houston artist Eric Kaposta has been retained to construct the bronze statue in the likeness of Bernardo de Gálvez on horseback with his sword raised. Mr. Kaposta has already completed a bronze miniature of the approximately 16-foot-tall proposed equestrian statue. Local Galvestonian and experienced Gulf Coast landscape architect Bob Duke is acting as consultant and contractor for the park landscaping and scope of the installation. The City of Galveston supports this project, and the local Parks and Recreation Department has committed to providing maintenance of the park site.  

Representatives from the Bernardo de Gálvez Chapter welcome opportunities to present the Plaza project to civic organizations in order to solicit donations from local businesses and individuals. The Chapter has partnered with the Houston Order of the Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez, an organization devoted to educating the public on the accomplishments of Bernardo de Gálvez and Spanish influence in the Gulf Coast area. The Chapter has received endorsement of the project by La Casa España de Houston, and has connected with the Spanish Consul for their support. Grant proposals are being submitted to similar private foundations that, like The Brown Foundation, support capital projects designed to educate the public about American history and culture.  

The Bernardo de Gálvez Statue Plaza project will provide a point of patriotic pride and visual art for Gulf Coast residents and visitors to Galvestons Menard Park. A monument to Gálvez represents the nations motto of E Pluribus Unum by honoring the Spanish war hero, and by recognizing the areas multi-cultural ties to the American Revolutionary War. The Sons of the American Revolution, Bernardo de Gálvez Chapter would appreciate an opportunity to submit a full grant proposal to The Brown Foundation in consideration of a donation toward creating this lasting tribute. If you have any questions about this project proposal, please feel free to contact Bill Adriance at (409) 939-0205, or via email at bill.a@galvezstatue.org .

Sent by Mary Anthony Startz   


Spanish Adelantados, not Conquistadores 

Dear Carlos,
Spain and the Spanish have been the target of a smear campaign for 500 years.  It has been very difficult to overcome because it is so embedded in US history that the general public in the United States just assumed that anything bad said against the Spanish is true.  WE continue the Black Legend by calling Spanish soldiers, Spanish CONQUISTADORES . . . 
Could you image if the English were called British CONQUERERS . .instead of British soldiers.  
World history jumped on the use of term.  We need to start using the correct term they were ADELANTADOS, COLONIZERS.  Thank you for your interest in the topic.   Mimi

Dear Mimi,
Good Morning.  Yes, we agree. Instead of following the use of the imposed terminology we MUST use the correct one ALWAYS, not only as it regards the Black Legend, but in every aspect of our varied, colorful and fascinating history. I have always questioned the wrong usage or wrong definitions, especially those that come from outsiders without the intimate knowledge we have of our own culture. We need to speak out and correct them or they will continue to call Lime the Lemons and viceversa ! The topic that we started with.....
There are a lot of words and definitions that need correction or elimination from our vocabulary and particularly from the lexicon of our Anglo cousins. Someone has to start it....
As you said, many wrong, distorted and inaccurate fictions are embedded in the US psyque and if we use their terminology, we validate those opinions. I believe we should stop utilizing their terminology and question it every time they use it, like the use of Americans,  just to one country that had nothing to do with the the discovery, early exploration, etc.! I think you see my point. 

I am afraid that if we fail now, future generations will have a harder time as real meanings get lost in history and the dictatorship of the uneducated masses make its use commonly accepted, (as there are many examples).

Have a great weekend.
Regards, Carlos
Carlos Campos y Escalante


, (Spanish: “one who goes before”), representative of the kings of Castile (Spain) who in the early European Middle Ages headed military expeditions and, from the reign of Ferdinand III (1217–52) until the 16th century, held judicial and administrative powers over specific districts. Greater adelantados (adelantados mayores) served as appeal judges and in times of war were responsible for organizing their territories’ armies. Lesser adelantados (adelantados menores) held similar powers, but they were often stationed along the frontiers, becoming known as frontier adelantados (adelantados fronterizos), and figured prominently in the military colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century the office was replaced by that of alcalde(magistrate).       Source: Britannica.com 



Descendents of Governor Juan Bautista Elguezabal
Los Sánchez Navarro
Los Ponce de León

The Descendents of Governor Juan Bautista Elguezabal
Compiled by John D. Inclan

Generation No. 1

GOVERNOR JUAN-BAUTISTA1 ELGUEZABAL was born 1741 in Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain, and died 05 Oct 1805 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He married MARIA-GERTRUDIS-CANDELARIA XIMENEZ-Y-MALDONADO 31 May 1778 in Presidio Agua Verde, Zaragosa, Coahuila, Mexico, daughter of JOSEPH JIMENEZ-DE-CISNEROS and MARIA-VIBIANA MALDONADO-Y-ZAPATA. She was born 09 Feb 1748 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.


From 1800 to 1805, he served as Governor of Texas.


i. JOSE-MARIA2 ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico; m. IGNACIA MENDIOLA-SANCHEZ, 20 Jun 1805, San Agustin, Laredo, Webb County, Texas; b. Laredo, Webb County, Texas.

ii. JOSEPH-LUIS-JOAQUIN ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 21 Aug 1780, El Sagrario, Chihuahua, Mexico.

2. iii. CAPTAIN JUAN-JOSE ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 1781, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas; d. 1840, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

iv. JOSE-HIPOLITO-JACINTO-ROQUE ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 16 Aug 1781, El Sagrario, Chihuahua, Mexico.

3. v. JOSE-MANUEL-ROMUALDO ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 15 Feb 1783, El Sagrario, Chihuahua, Mexico.

4. vi. MARIA-JOSEFA-DOLORES ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 18 May 1784, San Jeronimo, Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico.

5. vii. JOSE-IGNACIO-ISIDORO ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 04 Apr 1786, San Jeronimo, Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico.

viii. JOSEPH-AGUSTIN-PATRICIO ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ, b. 28 Mar 1790, San Jeronimo, Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Generation No. 2

CAPTAIN JUAN-JOSE2 ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ (JUAN-BAUTISTA1 ELGUEZABAL) was born 1781 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, and died 1840 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He married (1) MARIA-DE-JESUS DE-LA-GARZA, daughter of DIEGO DE-LA-GARZA-FALCON and GERTRUDIS CARRASCO. She was born 1781. He married (2) MARIA-GERTRUDIS SANCHEZ-NAVARRO.

i. JOSE-DE-JESUS3 ELGUEZABAL-DE-LA-GARZA, b. 09 Mar 1830, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.

ii. MARIA-CONSENCION ELGUEZABAL-DE-LA-GARZA, b. 18 Apr 1826, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.

iii. MARIA-GERTRUDIS-ENCARNACION3 ELGUEZABAL-SANCHEZ, b. 11 Apr 1804, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.

6. i. MARIA-DEL-ROSARIO3 ELGUEZABAL-CARRASCO, b. 03 Jun 1820, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.

MARIA-JOSEFA-DOLORES2 ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ (JUAN-BAUTISTA1 ELGUEZABAL) was born 18 May 1784 in San Jeronimo, Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico. She married FELIS FLORES 03 Feb 1809 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
i. JUAN-BAUTISTA3 FLORES-ELGUEZABAL, b. 17 Aug 1810, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. 

JOSE-IGNACIO-ISIDORO2 ELGUEZABAL-XIMENEZ (JUAN-BAUTISTA1 ELGUEZABAL) was born 04 Apr 1786 in San Jeronimo, Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico. He married POLONIA MARTINEZ.
7. i. JOSE-BLAS3 ELGUEZABAL-MARTINEZ, b. 05 Feb 1837, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. 

Generation No. 3

i. JOSE-AGUSTIN-CECILIO4 MARTINEZ-ELGUEZABAL, b. 23 Nov 1842, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. 

i. JUAN-IGNACIO4 ELGUEZABAL-SAN-MIGUEL, b. 10 Jan 1858, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
​John Inclan
Genealogista e Historiador Familiar


Los Sánchez Navarro.  (EL SIGLO DE TORREON. 12, 19, 26 Sep. y 3 oct. 2004)

Como fué que un simple cura de pueblo llegó a poseer un latifundio de 356 mil ha. Por: José Miguel Sánchez Navarro

(EL SIGLO DE TORREON. 12, 19, 26 Sep. y 3 oct. 2004)

Santiago de la Monclova era un lugar difícil para aquél que pretendiera hacer fortuna. Una monótona villa, con casas de adobe apiñadas alrededor de una polvorienta plaza. Así era la capital de Coahuila o Nueva Extremadura en el año de 1767, una villa conformada tan sólo por unos cientos de familias, 35 soldados del presidio marcado todo por una pobreza extrema.

Llegar a ser párroco de esta villa era una alternativa de la que nadie pudiera ufanarse, pero para el padre José Miguel Sánchez Navarro representó la oportunidad de construir a partir de 1765 un gran imperio económico, y asistido por sus hermanos formó un latifundio que lo convirtió en el más opulento de los hacendados de la Nueva España.

Las vastas tierras de Coahuila se podían adquirir por medio de mercedes -donaciones reales concedidas en reconocimiento a servicios prestados a la corona- o bien por medio de la compra de éstas en subasta pública, a lo que se les llamaba: tierras realengas.

Las tierras obtenidas por mercedes no incluían los derechos de agua, a menos que fueran específicamente mencionados. El agua era tan escasa e importante que ésta se concedía específicamente por número de días, horas e inclusive minutos, durante el mes, por lo que el propietario de tierras buscaba siempre la forma de agenciarse algo de agua con qué regar sus campos y dar de beber a sus animales...

En aquel entonces la mayoría de estas tierras pertenecían al Marquesado de Aguayo extendiéndose sus terrenos incluso hasta abarcar los manantiales de agua que surtían a la hacienda de Parras, y que utilizaban sus moradores para regar sus viñedos, misma a la que el marqués le ponía un precio.

Para 1760 el marquesado de aguayo ocupaba 6’540,847 hectáreas equivalentes a 59,437 Km. 

Cuadrados -dos terceras partes de lo que hoy es Portugal- y la cría de ovejas era su principal actividad, estimándose sus rebaños entre 200 mil y 300 mil cabezas.

En aquel entonces no era extraño que los curas fueran propietarios de tierras. Como lo fue el caso del capellán Baldo Cortés en la fundación de Saltillo en 1575 y otros clérigos más que poseyeron en aquellos tiempos grandes extensiones de terreno. Mismo caso de José Flores de Ábrego quien fue cura de Monclova por casi 60 años, y quien al morir en 1755 dejó el respetable latifundio de 61,968 hectáreas que heredó a su sobrino, mientras la designación de su sucesor en iglesia de Monclova recayó en la persona del joven cura José Miguel Sánchez Navarro.

El linaje de José Miguel se remontaba al Siglo XIII en que los Sánchez Navarro se habían distinguido en España peleando contra los musulmanes. El nombre de esta familia llegó al nuevo mundo con el capitán Juan Sánchez Navarro emigrado a la Nueva España en 1550 y quien participó en la colonización de la frontera norte, siendo uno de los fundadores de Saltillo en 1575. Al tiempo de su muerte en 1600 don Juan Sánchez Navarro había establecido una familia cuyos descendientes al unirse con las familias Arizpe y Rodríguez de Saltillo llegaron a desempeñar luego un papel importante en el desarrollo de Coahuila.

Cuando la colonización avanzó hacia el norte varios miembros de la familia Sánchez Navarro radicados en Saltillo se movieron con ella, como el sargento Diego Luis Sánchez Navarro miembro de la expedición que en 1674 fundó la villa de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de la Nueva Extremadura (1). Cuando tiempo después fue fundada Monclova en 1689, Diego Luis recibió varios títulos de propiedad de muchas tierras próximas a la villa y retirándose de la
milicia con el grado de capitán se dedicó a explotar sus tierras .

Otro familiar, Juan Bautista Sánchez Navarro fue uno de los comisionados por el gobernador de Coahuila para fundar la misión de Dulce Nombre de Jesús de Peyotes (2), al norte de Monclova.

Al inicio del Siglo XVIII los Sánchez Navarro disfrutaban de una excelente posición social siendo una de las primeras familias de hidalgos o nobles de Coahuila.

Dentro de la familia de los Sánchez Navarro habían diferentes jerarquías, desde simples soldados como Joaquín y Cristóbal que participaron en la fundación del presidio de Santa Rosa, hasta curas como Leonardo y José Martín que oficiaban en el curato de Saltillo.

José Miguel hijo mayor de Cristóbal José, nació en Saltillo en 1730, y a los 25 años pasó a ser cura de Monclova. Y aunque José Miguel era muy competente como sacerdote lo era más como negociante, y aprovechando que en aquella época no existía aún la prohibición de que los curas participaran en transacciones comerciales para su beneficio, se inició en los negocios.

Para ello compró un terreno frente a la plaza -enseguida de la iglesia- y puso una tienda que al tiempo se convirtió en la más importante de los alrededores, dedicándose al comercio de telas, comestibles, lencería, herramientas y demás mercancías que el cura traía desde Saltillo.

Para 1760 sus propiedades aumentaban y para ayudarse mandó traer de Saltillo a su hermanoJosé Gregorio, y juntos engrandecieron el negocio al grado de que pasaron del comercio, a la cría de borregos.

Nombrado de 1762 a 1773 -11 años- administrador provincial de los diezmos de la iglesia, llegó a convertirse en uno de los más importantes recolectores de diezmos de la nueva España.

Para agilizar el manejo de los diezmos José Miguel organizó la creación de caravanas de carretas tiradas por mulas y bueyes, y mientras recolectaba en ellas los diezmos, aprovechaba también de transportar las mercancías de sus tiendas.

Cuando en 1777 el padre Agustín Morfi pasó por Monclova, Coahuila en la época colonial pudo advertir que aunque en el curato de Monclova sólo se recaudaban dos mil pesos anuales, esa suma no servía de nada para pagar los gastos de manutención del sacerdote José Miguel, quien para entonces había hecho ya una fortuna de 80 mil pesos con la administración de los diezmos, y eso quitando alguno que otro robo que los indios hacían a sus carretas.

José Miguel recibía por colectar los diezmos un ocho por ciento de comisión, pero duplicaba con creces el valor de los diezmos cuando éstos se los pagaban en especie -ganado-, ya que luego éste los vendía mucho más caros de lo que los tomaba.

De hecho era la tienda del cura quien compraba a cuatro reales, todas las borregas que se daban como diezmo, dinero que luego era mandado al obispado de Guadalajara, en esa forma 
para 1763 el cura Sánchez Navarro ya tenía 5,523 borregas. De hecho la tienda del cura crecía indirectamente gracias al Marquesado de Aguayo, ya que en 1760 el mayordomo de la hacienda del Carmen Francisco de Mata, hacienda perteneciente al latifundio del Marquesado de Aguayo, se abastecía de la tienda del cura, ya que le era más práctico hacerlo así, que mandar traer todo desde la hacienda de Patos (3), cerca de Saltillo. Lo mismo sucedía con los 
suministros de los soldados de la guarnición de Monclova cuyas tropas y familias compraban todo en la tienda del cura y hasta se endeudaban con el cura cuando éste les cobraba por hacerles algunos sacramentos.

Pasaban los años y el manejo del diezmo seguía enriqueciendo al cura José Miguel, sin embargo las autoridades eclesiásticas de Guadalajara estaban de acuerdo en que vendiera las borregas que se daban en pago del diezmo y les mandara a ellos sólo el dinero. Ignoro si los altos prelados sabían que era el mismo cura quien se compraba las borregas.

Mientras los rebaños de ovejas crecían José Miguel empezó a comprar muchas propiedades rurales, y para su administración mandó traer de Saltillo a otro de sus hermanos Manuel Francisco a quien puso a cargo del naciente latifundio.

Como el cura tenía entre sus obligaciones ver que sus feligreses compraran tierras a bajo costo, puso en subasta pública una enorme hacienda. Como era de esperarse el día de la subasta fue su hermano Manuel Francisco quien hizo la mayor propuesta dando 150 pesos por las escrituras de cinco mil 578 hectáreas, con derecho a diez días de agua de la confluencia de los ríos Nadadores y Monclova en el valle de Adjuntas.

Los Sánchez Navarro establecieron en esa hacienda su centro de operaciones y a partir de entonces empezaron a adquirir más propiedades donde éstas estuvieran disponibles.

Fue en 1772 que se le presentó a José Miguel la oportunidad de su vida. El sobrino del cura que le había precedido, y que había heredado todas las tierras de su tío, acababa de morir, y había nombrado precisamente a José Miguel ejecutor de su herencia. Y como había que pagarle a algunos acreedores a quienes el sobrino debía algo de dinero- entre los que se encontraban el propio José Miguel Sánchez Navarro y su hermano José Gregorio el cura puso 
toda la propiedad de su antecesor en subasta pública para poder con ello cubrir las deudas.

Luego de unos días, un rival de los Sánchez Navarro hizo un ofrecimiento de tres mil 750 pesos, lo que hacía ver que la propiedad se les iría de las manos a los tres hermanos Sánchez Navarro. El último día de la prórroga José Gregorio Sánchez Navarro ofreció 100 pesos más, y José Miguel ceremoniosamente se la cedió en febrero de 1773. Para entonces los hermanos Sánchez Navarro ya tenían juntos 46,520 hectáreas y para 1774 a través de una compra de 
tierras a la Corona Española, la incrementaron con otras 17,377, terreno suficiente para que pudieran pastar ahí sus enormes rebaños de ovejas.

En 1774 muere José Gregorio y su muerte marca el final de una era en el surgimiento del imperio de los Sánchez Navarro, pasando sus propiedades según testamento a sus dos hermanos, conservando con ello el cura José Miguel la integridad de sus tierras, Luego de la muerte de José Gregorio, Manuel Francisco aumentó la fortuna de los Sánchez Navarro al casarse con la hija de uno de los principales hacendados locales Juan Manuel de Palau quien se había establecido en el valle de Santa Rosa al casarse en 1745 con una hija de la prominente familia Garza Falcón, y a través de su esposa heredó la hacienda de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores fundada por los Garza Falcón en 1745. Sus nuevas adquisiciones no distrajeron a Manuel Francisco de los negocios que tenía con su hermano José Miguel, de quien seguía siendo socio minoritario.

Fue en 1782 cuando Manuel Francisco heredó las 96,816 hectáreas de la hacienda de Dolores tras la muerte de su suegro Juan Manuel de Palau.

El cura José Miguel tenía entonces puesto el ojo en el rancho San Francisco Javier de la Escondida, y su oportunidad se presentó en 1801 cuando el rancho fundado por el capellán de Santa Rosa fue hipotecado por un comerciante a quien se le debían 4,581 pesos. Como los acreedores vivían en la ciudad de San Miguel el Grande, arreglaron que José Miguel cobrara por ellos, en lugar de ello, José Miguel les ofreció 450 pesos en efectivo si le cedían los derechos de acreedores, y así José Miguel añadió 44,619 hectáreas a su enorme latifundio que para 1805 ya medía 298,991 hectáreas.

Ese año murió Manuel Francisco y dejó a su hijo José Melchor de 23 años heredero de todas sus enormes propiedades rurales.

Y fue ahí que el famoso cura Sánchez Navarro hizo su jugada maestra, al proponerle a su sobrino José Melchor que si aceptaba manejar el latifundio y los demás intereses que el cura tenía, él sería nombrado el único heredero a la muerte del cura. La mancuerna del cura José Miguel y de su sobrino José Melchor resultó ser aún más efectiva que la que había formado el cura con el padre de su sobrino.

Para 1819 los Sánchez Navarro ya controlaban casi todos los derechos de agua de los ríos Nadadores y Monclova, y habían comprado casi la totalidad de las propiedades en sus márgenes.

En 1801 un sobrino de José Miguel llamado Juan Ignacio de Arizpe en aquel tiempo recaudador de impuestos, resultó con un faltante de 12,300 pesos en su trabajo, mismos que pidió prestados a su tío, a un interés del cinco por ciento anual. Para ello le dio a su tío en hipoteca todas sus propiedades. Años más tarde y a la muerte de su sobrino, éste le adeudaba a José Miguel 21,800 pesos por lo que el cura se quedó con todas las propiedades que le había dado en garantía.

Muchos otros préstamos, demandas y litigios hicieron que las propiedades de los Sánchez Navarro aumentaran, y para 1812 ya sumaban 356,240 hectáreas.

En vísperas de la independencia el único rival de los Sánchez Navarro por la hegemonía de Coahuila era el Marquesado de Aguayo, no obstante los Sánchez Navarro en proporción eran pequeños ya que el marquesado era dueño de 6’679,500 hectáreas en las cuales había 213,000 cabezas de ganado.

En 1818 el mal manejo de los latifundios del Marquesado de Aguayo, así como la manutención permanente de cuatro residencias palaciegas en la Ciudad de México los llevó a la bancarrota, y en ese mismo año un grupo de acreedores se hizo cargo de la administración de sus tierras.

Por el contrario las propiedades de los Sánchez Navarro no sólo estaba libres de deudas sino que producían grandes cantidades de ganancias situación que obedecía a la atención personal que la familia prodigó a sus tierras.

A la muerte del cura en 1821 José Melchor tomó la administración del latifundio. Su obsesión por proteger los intereses de la familia lo llevaron a una muerte prematura en 1836, sin embargo el latifundio siguió funcionando ahora bajo las órdenes de Jacobo su hijo mayor apoyado por la experiencia de invaluable de Manuel Castellano Cárdenas quien desde 1813 había sido el mayordomo de algunas haciendas y mano derecha de José Melchor.

Jacobo aprendió pronto el negocio he hizo frente a las dificultades que surgieron cuando su hermano Carlos Sánchez Navarro compró en 1840 el famoso latifundio del Marquesado de Aguayo, adquiriendo como parte de la transacción los créditos que tenían con el marquesado de Aguayo con las compañías acreedoras Baring Hnos. y Cia. y Staples y Cía., quedando estos últimos en pagar también una determinada cantidad a los herederos del Marqués. A partir de ese momento todo el latifundio pasó al poder de la familia Sánchez Navarro.

A partir de 1840 los hermanos Sánchez Navarro se abocaron a reorganizar toda la estructura administrativa del latifundio ya que de un sólo golpe su latifundio había aumentado ocho veces su tamaño con la compra del latifundio del Marquesado de Aguayo.

Jacobo y Carlos tomaron entonces la hacienda de Hermanas como cuartel regional -cuya casa principal tenía 21 cuartos- dado que en la época de 1840 su casco se había convertido en uno de los mejores de Coahuila, otorgándole con una posición administrativa semejante a la que tenían el Rosario y Bonanza.

A lo largo de la historia la hacienda de El Tapado fue íntimamente asociada con el cura José Miguel, la hacienda de hermanas era la favorita de José Melchor y fue la hacienda de Patos la que tuvo mayor interés para Carlos y Jacobo.

Cualquiera que haya sido el tamaño de los rebaños de ovejas en 1840 no hay duda de que con la compra del marquesado se incrementaron grandemente llegando a considerarse ellos

mismos los barones de ovejas al poseer en 1847 un rebaño de 218,988 ovejas y 18,875 cabras aunque cabe suponer que para fines de los años 40’s el rebaño llegaba a las 250,000 ovejas.

La amenaza de los indios siempre había sido uno de los hechos más temibles en la vida de Coahuila pero después de la Independencia las depredaciones se incrementaron llegando lo más encarnizado a mediados del siglo cuando los indios prácticamente arrasaron el Estado.

Para 1822 los apaches lipanes firmaron un tratado de paz en la Ciudad de México pero el interludio duró sólo un año y los apaches lipanes hicieron nuevamente sentir su presencia.

Los comanches merodeaban la hacienda de Santa Rosa y las carretas de los Sánchez Navarro debían transitar entre sus haciendas con una escolta de 12 guardias.

El epílogo de un imperio Debido al creciente impulso de la colonización de Texas a partir de 1836 los comanches llevaron su depredación al noreste de México incursionaban en gran escala por todo el Estado de Coahuila donde lograban jugosos botines llegando algunas veces hasta Zacatecas y San Luis Potosí. Estos merodeadores llegaban por miles e invernaban en la laguna de jaco.

El año de 1840 marcó el principio de las más grandes incursiones de la época cuando un grupo de 400 comanches bajaron del norte y pasando a unos Km. de Monclova devastaron las villas y granjas situadas al oeste de la ciudad. Voluntarios persiguieron a los indios hasta Saltillo y en su camino iban saqueando y matando gentes. En esta incursión que duró un mes los comanches mataron 300 personas aunque en su retirada perdieron los 3,000 caballos que se habían robado.

En 1853 Estados Unidos y México firmaron el tratado Gadsden por el cual Estados Unidos pagaría a México 10 millones de pesos por una franja de tierra de la frontera y por liberarlos de la responsabilidad de las incursiones de los indios, por ello los Sánchez Navarro podían pedir indemnización por las depredaciones cometidas entre 1848 y 1853. A la hora de que Estados Unidos recibió las denuncias de indemnización se ampararon en que el tratado no era retroactivo y jamás pagaron un centavo de las 365 reclamaciones que hubo.

Una gran sequía arrasó en 1851 con los rebaños de los Sánchez Navarro matando 21 mil ovejas y cuatro mil cabras. Cuando El Rosario y San Lorenzo de la Laguna pasaron a ser propiedad de los Sánchez Navarro aprovecharon al máximo la irrigación de esas propiedades.

Dado que en 1848 los hermanos Sánchez Navarro aún no terminaban de cubrir los pagos que tenían pendientes tanto con los herederos del Marquesado de San Miguel de Aguayo, como con la compañía Baring, para hacerse de dinero decidieron vender la Hacienda del Rosario a don Rafael Aguirre en 148 mil pesos, La Estancia de Agua Nueva a don Bruno Lozano en 135 mil pesos y la Hacienda de San Lorenzo de la Laguna a los señores don Leonardo Zuloaga y a don Juan Ignacio Jiménez en 80 mil pesos. (4)

La hacienda de San Lorenzo de la Laguna se vendería bajo varias cláusulas, y de entre ellas las más importantes eran: El trato sería por la cantidad de 80 mil pesos que se pagarían en plazos con un rédito del cinco por ciento anual, empezando el reconocimiento y consiguiente responsabilidad desde el día 
primero de enero de este año de 1848 por haberse refundido en el presente convenio otro anterior del cual se transada y renueve solamente esta obligación, quedando los pagos de la siguiente forma:

A finales de 1850 entregarían los compradores la cantidad de 45 mil pesos que se aplicarían de la siguiente manera 33 mil para abono del capital y 12 mil pertenecientes a los réditos vencidos hasta esa fecha.

En diciembre de 1852, 1853 y 1854 se pagarían en cada uno de ellos la suma de 15,666 pesos, cinco reales y cuatro granos, por abono al saldo del capital, pagando en cada uno de esos plazos los réditos al cinco por ciento anual del capital que aún quedaba pendiente de pagarse.

Epílogo de un imperio Los Sánchez Navarro apoyaron siempre a Maximiliano y a los imperialistas. De hecho en la última carta que Maximiliano dirigió a Carlos Sánchez Navarro días antes de morir, se refirió a él como “uno de mis más fieles amigos”. Seis días después de mandada la carta, el 19 de junio de 1867 Maximiliano fue llevado a una colina y junto con sus generales Mejía y Miramón y fue fusilado.

Carlos Sánchez Navarro cayó entonces en manos de los republicanos y fue enviado a prisión mientras sus extensas propiedades fueron expropiadas. Carlos salió de la cárcel hasta 1868 y sus esfuerzos por reconstruir su fortuna tuvieron poco éxito. Carlos pasó el resto de su vida en la pobreza muriendo el diez de octubre de 1876 a la edad de 60 años.

La confiscación del latifundio ocurrió en 1866, pero el 12 de agosto de 1867 Juárez emitió una ley que sustituía por multas las confiscaciones efectuadas con anterioridad, lo que hacía ver a todas luces que todas las propiedades confiscadas a los Sánchez Navarro les serían devueltas.

Fue entonces que el gobernador de Coahuila le increpó a Juárez diciéndole que los hermanos Sánchez Navarro fueron un apoyo del imperialismo y un obstáculo para el desarrollo de Coahuila.

De cualquier forma el gobernador no debió haberse preocupado, pues la ley aclaraba, que si las propiedades ya habían sido vendidas a un tercero, éstas no podrían ser devueltas a su antiguo dueño, por ello, las propiedades confiscadas a los Sánchez Navarro y vendidas posteriormente a terceros, jamás fueron devueltas a sus antiguos propietarios. En la década de los setentas cuando las pasiones políticas ya habían amainado, se pudo recuperar una parte de la herencia de Carlos... después de un prolongado pleito.

Tiempo después los Sánchez Navarro vendieron todas sus propiedades y el latifundio de la familia pasó a la historia en 1866, no así la familia en sí, quien actualmente se encuentra una vez más entre las familias más distinguidas de nuestro México actual.

Notas de R. Zertuche

(1) En diciembre de 1674, nace la ciudad de nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de la Nueva Extremadura sobre las ruinas de la antigua Nueva

Almadén, primigenia fundación de la hoy Monclova. Larios y Balcárcer, un binomio insuflado de la misma sed de justicia, hacen en abril del año siguiente la fundación de San Miguel de Luna (hoy llamada barrio del Pueblo), población de indios anexa a Guadalupe, habitada por españoles.

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y San Miguel de Luna son la cúspide del sueño. Los pueblos deberían crecer –de acuerdo a los proyectos- unidos pero independientes. Cada uno contaría con sus propias tierras y autoridades, y sólo las actividades de defensa y el usufructo de bosques y aguas serían comunes.

(2) Hoy Villa Unión.

(3) Hoy General Cepeda.

(4) En Parras de la Fuente, mi tierra.
Benicio Samuel Sánchez García 

Genealogista e Historiador Familiar
Email: samuelsanchez@genealogia.org.mx
Website:  http://www.Genealogia.org.mx
Cell Phone: 811 191 6334 

Desde Monterrey agrega 044+
Cualquier otro lugar de Mexico 045+
Desde USA 011521+


Los Ponce de León
Portal de Archivos Espanoles.
Título de la unidad:  "1.2. Ducado de Arcos"
Archivo: Sección Nobleza del Archivo Histórico Nacional
Fecha Creación: 1176 / 1899

El estado señorial de Arcos pertenece a los Ponce de León, linaje que tiene su origen en el tronco castellano de los Cabrera, uno de cuyos primogénitos, Pedro Ponce de Cabrera, había casado con Aldonza Alfonso de León, hija ilegítima de Alfonso IX y Aldonza Martinez de Silva, Señora del honor de Mansilla.
Fernán Ponce de León inició uno de los mayorazgos andaluces mas antiguos en torno a la ciudad de Marchena, señorío que recibe en 1309 de Fernando IV. Posteriormente se agregarán al mayorazgo , Mairena (1342) por merced de Alfonso IX, Bailén (1349) por compra a la corona, y Arcos (1440) concedida por Juan II, con el título de conde, a cambio del título de conde de Medellín.
Rodrigo Ponce de León III Conde de Arcos, II marqués y I duque de Cadiz, adquiere los Palacios (1471) y Pruna (1482). Los Reyes Católicos le conceden la villa y título de Marqués de Zahara, título que llevarán los primogénitos de la Casa.
De los Reyes Católicos también recibe la villa de los Casares (1493) con el título de conde, otorgándole el título de Duque de Arcos, en compensación por la incorporación a la corona del ducado de Cadiz.

En 1666 por matrimonio, se incorpora a la casa el título de Duque de Maqueda

Historia Institucional / Reseña Biográfica:
Los Ponce de León son uno de los linajes implicados en la reconquista castellana de Al-Andalus que más poder catalizaron en el antiguo reino de Sevilla, junto con los Guzmanes de la Casa de Medina Sidonia, con quienes compitieron durante los siglos XV-XVI.

Esta estirpe, de origen gallego o asturiano, se afincó primero en el reino de León, prosperando a la sonbra de la Corte, y luego algunos de sus miembros acompañaron las huestes que arrebataron Al-andalus al Islam, logrando tierras y honores.

En el siglo XIV se sudecieron las alianzas con los Guzmán, extinguiéndose la rama leonesa a mediados de la centuria, basculando la cabeza del linaje a Andalucía.

Para paliar las pérdidas ocasionadas por la guerra dinástica castellana, y cubrir una deuda familiar, en 1387 se desprendieron de la aldea y castillo de Bornos (Córdoba) a la Casa de Alcalá.

A caballo entre los siglos XIV y XV participarían de las banderías nobiliarias castellanas. Logran el ducado de Arcos en compensación por la supresión del marquesado de Cádiz, que se incorpora a la Corona. Sus señoríos se extienden por las actuales provinicas de Sevilla (Marchena, capital del Estado ducal; Paradas, Los Palacios, Mairena del Alcor, Guadajoz, las dehesas de Pruna y de las Algámitas), Cádiz (la propia Cádiz, Arcos de la Frontera, Zahara de la Sierra, Rota, Chipiona y la Isla de León, hoy San Fernando, además de las poblaciones de la Serranía de Villaluenga: Villaluenga del Rosario, Ubrique, Benaocaz, Grazalema), Málaga (Casares con Manilva, Genalguacil, Jubrique), Almería (la taha de Marchena: Huécija, Terque, Benquerique, Illae, Alhama, Instinción, Rágol, Alsodux y Alhabia), Jaén (Bailén) y Badajoz (Villagarcía de la Torre).

El heredero del duque de Arcos llevaría el título de marqués de Zahara. De este modo, la rama principal de los Ponce de León fue propietaria del Señorío de Marchena (1309); el condado de de Arcos (1429); el marquesado de Cádiz (1471), luego convertido en ducado (1484) para posteriormente revertir al realengo; el ducado de Arcos (1489); el marquesado de Zahara (1492); el condado de Casares (1493); el condado de Bailén (1522) y el señorío de Villargarcía, cuando Luis Ponce de León, V señor de la villa, se casó con Francisca Ponce de León, hija del III duque de Arcos.

A la muerte de la XIII duquesa de Nájera, Ana Manuela Sinforosa Manrique de Guevara y Velasco, dicho título recayó en el VII Duque de Arcos, cuya descendencia ostentó el XVI, XVII y XVIII ducado de Nájera, hasta que en 1780 se produjo la muerte de Antonio Ponce de León, XI duque de Arcos, y su Casa se incorporó a la de Osuna. Forma de Ingreso:

Sent by John Inclan  


DNA from 4,500-year-old Ethiopian 
reveals surprise about ancestry of Africans
Karen Kaplan

DNA from 4,500-year-old Ethiopian reveals surprise about ancestry of Africans
Karen Kaplan, Contact Reporter
DNA from a man who lived in Ethiopia about 4,500 years ago is prompting scientists to rethink the history of human migration in Africa.

Mota cave in Ethiopia, where researchers found the body of a 4,500-year-old man whose DNA was still preserved. (Kathryn and John Arthur)

Until now, the conventional wisdom had been that the first groups of modern humans left Africa roughly 70,000 years ago, stopping in the Middle East en route to Europe, Asia and beyond. Then about 3,000 years ago, a group of farmers from the Middle East and present-day Turkey came back to the Horn of Africa (probably bringing crops like wheat, barley and lentils with them).

Population geneticists pieced this story together by comparing the DNA of distinct groups of people alive today. Since humans emerged in Africa, DNA from an ancient Africa could provide a valuable genetic baseline that would make it easier for scientists to track genome changes over time.

Unfortunately, such DNA has been hard to come by. DNA isn’t built to last for thousands of years. The samples of ancient DNA that have been sequenced to date were extracted from bodies in Europe and Asia that were naturally refrigerated in cooler climates.

That’s what makes the Ethiopian man so special. His body was found face-down in Mota cave, which is situated in the highlands in the southern part of the country. The cool, dry conditions in the cave preserved his DNA, and scientists extracted a sample from the petrous bone at the base of his skull. The resulting sequence is the first nuclear genome from an ancient African, according to a report published Thursday in the journal Science.

Radiocarbon dating revealed that the bone was 4,500 years old. That meant Mota (as the researchers called him) lived before Eurasians returned to the African continent.

Consistent with that timeline, Mota did not have any of the genetic variants for light-colored eyes or skin that evolved in the populations that left Africa. Nor did he have variants that arose in Eurasian farmers that allowed them to digest milk as adults.

Mota did have three variants that are known to help modern-day Ethiopians live in high altitudes. (The present-day town of Mota lies more than 8,100 feet above sea level.)

When the researchers compared Mota’s genome to those of contemporary humans, the closest match was with the Ari people of southern Ethiopia.

With this information, the research team was able to investigate the mysterious group of Eurasians that came to Africa 3,000 years ago. They created a model that assumed the Ari genome was a mixture of DNA from Mota and an unknown population from west Eurasia. Then they “plugged in” DNA from several candidate populations to see if they could get a combination that looked like Ari DNA.

Two results stood out from the rest. One was for modern-day Sardinians, who are known to be the closest living relatives to the earliest farmers. The other was for members of the so-called LBK culture in Germany, early farmers who lived about 7,000 years ago.

If the Eurasian settlers who arrived in Africa 3,000 years ago were indeed descendants of the LBK farmers, then the story of their migration through Africa needs to be revised, the researchers wrote.

By comparing the LBK genome with DNA from Africans alive today, the scientists calculated that these ancient farmers may have made up 25% or more of the population in the Horn of Africa during the migration years. All of those migrants ultimately pushed farther into Africa than previously thought, they determined.

African populations from the western and southern tips of the continent got at least 5% of their DNA from these Eurasian migrants, according to the study. Some groups from Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea can trace more than 30% of their DNA to these migrants.

“The ability to sequence ancient genomes has revolutionized our understanding of human evolution,” wrote the research team, which was led by Marcos Gallego Llorente of the University of Cambridge and Eppie Ruth Jones of Trinity College Dublin. They said they are eager to find “even older African genomes” that may make the story more complete.

Follow me on Twitter @LATkarenkaplan and "like" Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

Sent by John Inclan 


Establish cyberspace communication with town where heritage originates
Genealogy by Barry, October 9, 2015

 Establish cyberspace communication with town where heritage originates


For a new Filipino researcher, Eddie makes a suggestion which is good for everyone. 

"I think  that the patron should establish email/facebook/twitter or any other cyberspace communication with someone or a group from the town or province where his/her heritage originates and somehow one of the members of those groups can help the patron in the quest for information needed.
I belong to both my father and mother's towns and province groups that one of the cyberspace friends was able to tell me my ancestries in both side of my parents.
Or the patron can seek the help of an institution, a library, a group in his/her parents' or relatives domiciles or former domiciles to get the information the patron needs.
Eddie AAA Calderon

I have been in the USA for 51 years and my original contacts were my direct relatives. But with the advent of cyberspace communication, I started having friends all over the world when I started doing cyberspace communication. It does take time to establish a group/groups and friends one has never met before. But the person seeking help has to be do this to get what s/he wants and of course answers do not come right away.
So my advise to the person is to be active in cyberspace communication to meet friends you need to get to what you are looking for if you can't find what you are looking for in a library or other institutions. .
Of course I search all avenues especially google and other search tools to get what I want to know and if I do not find them then I resort to asking my cyberspace friends for information."

Eddie Calderon, Ph.D. 

Genealogy by Barry

Issue #76   //   October 9, 2015


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Carnegie Corporation of New York 2015 Academic Leadership Awards
Ethnic Studies for All
White House selects Latino Scholarship Directory as Education Bright Spot  
Principles of Common Core
A Breakthrough: The Mexican American Digital History Project 


The University of Texas at El Paso is pleased to announce that the Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded President Diana Natalicio their distinguished Academic Leadership Award for 2015.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2015 Academic Leadership Award recognizing The University of Texas at El Paso’s accomplishments over the past quarter-century,” Natalicio said in a statement. “This recognition serves as strong validation of the success of highly dedicated UTEP faculty and staff who have worked to provide both access and excellence to all young people who entrust us with their talents and aspirations.” 

The award, given every two years, recognizes exceptional leadership among the nation’s university presidents. To qualify, presidents must demonstrate an institutional vision and commitment to access and excellence in undergraduate education that embraces diversity, community investment, and curriculum innovation. The award comes with a $500,000 grant to support and enhance the academic initiatives of the recipient. 

“The United States is blessed with thousands of universities and colleges that enrich our society and our democracy and prepare the next generation of specialists, leaders, and citizens,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “This award recognizes some exemplary leaders of those institutions, who embody the best qualities of leadership – not merely managerial skills, but institutional vision and an abiding commitment to high quality, diversity, curricular innovation, and investment in their communities. 

As president, Dr. Natalicio has led the University for 27 years, dramatically increasing its capacity to deliver high quality degree programs, as well as secure grant funding for research and creative activities by building an infrastructure and campus environment supportive of students, faculty, and staff. Under her leadership, UTEP’s enrollment has grown over 50 percent since 1999 to a record 23,397 students today and has become a new model for public research universities in the U.S. 

Please join us in congratulating President Natalicio for this notable honor from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

The Carnegie Corporation of New York announcement reads as follows: 
Diana Natalicio became President of The University of Texas at El Paso in 1988, and since then, has transformed a small, regional university for commuters into a national public research university. In the process, she has created a model for helping Hispanic students succeed. In a city where four out of five residents are Hispanic, President Natalicio has focused on access and affordability for students, most of whom are low income and the first in their families to attend college. Among her accomplishments, President Natalicio has: 

• Worked to make the university better reflect the region’s demographics by recruiting more Hispanic faculty members, currently about 36% overall; created graduate programs that capitalize on UTEP’s proximity to Mexico such as a Ph.D. in U.S-Mexico Borderlands History. 

• Led in the formation of a partnership with El Paso Community College, 12 local school districts, and community leaders to raise educational aspirations and attainment, revamp teacher training, and improve curriculums in subjects such as high school math and science, and as a result, successfully preparing more graduates for college-level work, and closing the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students. 

• Implemented a highly successful program to collect and analyze data from each department and on each student as a way to track progress and develop appropriate interventions that improve performance and retention, including direct follow up with students at risk of dropping out. 

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Ethnic Studies for All
By Emily Thornton, Special to the Press-Telegram. Sep 21, 2015

Cal State Long Beach Faculty teach LBUSD students in 12 new Ethnic Studies classes

High school students in Long Beach, CA are learning about diversity and ethnic studies from Cal State Long Beach faculty this fall in a new program that local officials hope will become a model for the state.

The class, U.S. Diversity and the Ethnic Experience, is an elective on Saturdays, providing three college credits and 10 high school credits, said Chris Steinhauser, superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District.

But the program took a while from conceptualization to actualization, according to Armando Vazquez-Ramos, CSULB professor of Chicano and Latino studies. Vazquez-Ramos, administrative coordinator of the new program, said he wanted to have such a class decades ago. However, he began campaigning last year for this partnership between CSULB and LBUSD.

“It’s about time,” Vazquez-Ramos said. “We need to teach about our community.”

The ethnic studies class includes the history, culture and contemporary issues of four groups — Asian/American, American Indian, African and Chicano/Latino. Course objectives include defining and comprehending critical and essential theories of race, ethnicity and discourse/debates about those theories. Objectives also include comprehending critical differences between racial prejudice and racism as social practice, as well as differences between individual and institutional racism.

Several other California school districts, including Los Angeles, El Rancho and San Francisco, recently added similar ethnic courses, Vazquez-Ramos said. Those districts were ahead of the State Legislature, which recently passed a law requiring them.

Assembly Bill 101, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, is awaiting the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown. If the bill becomes law, it will help create a model ethnic studies program for optional use statewide. The bill was amended from its original version, which required public high schools to offer ethnic studies courses.

Vazquez-Ramos said to help him create the local course, he connected with El Rancho Unified School District, which recently passed an ethnic studies class requirement beginning with the class of 2016.

Vazquez-Ramos said Steinhauser and other LBUSD officials were open to the idea when he presented it to them.

“Steinhauser didn’t resist,” Vazquez-Ramos said. “He said, ‘I want to do it, but I want to do it big.’”
Steinhauser and the school board agreed to pay for classes every semester for the next five years, for a total of about $1 million.

“I’m very excited about the concept,” Steinhauser said. “(LBUSD) could be a very good role model to other districts.”

So far, classes are offered either Saturday mornings or afternoons at all six LBUSD high schools. Students may take the course in lieu of their economics requirement, Steinhauser said. To graduate, LBUSD students must successfully complete government and economics classes, Steinhauser said — more than many universities’ entrance requirement.

Additionally, the class offers the opportunity for students who are enrolled in advanced placement courses to potentially have a year of college completed by the time they graduate high school, Vazquez-Ramos said.

Steinhauser said he hopes the district can offer more courses that build on this one in the future, so students may add to their knowledge of ethnic studies.

“We’re developing the plane as we fly it,” Steinhauser said.

Emily Thornton is a staff writer for Gazette Newspapers. She can be reached at ethornton@gazettes.com.

A word about the Long Beach Ethnic Studies Program...

We sincerely appreciate the LBUSD and Superintendent Chris Steinhauser for his leadership; trust and vision that have made it possible to establish this historic model, built upon the Long Beach Promise, as a unique collaboration between the CSULB Ethnic Studies Departments and the Long Beach Unified School District.

And most important, for making possible the launching of this program to impart a vast amount of Ethnic Studies knowledge to over 400 LBUSD High School students, currently enrolled in 12 sections of the course U.S. Diversity and the Ethnic Experience at 6 LBUSD high schools during the 2015 Fall semester.

Undoubtedly, the interest in our community is huge, given that close to 1500 parents and students attended the orientations at each H.S. campus; and that we had 731 students registered for 420 seats (35 per class) in the 12 classes. 

This exceptional opportunity will plant the seeds for future generations of young people of all ethnicities and cultures, to increase their appreciation of each other, and foster tolerance, understanding and a brotherhood across racial, social and economic differences. 

As we embark upon this unprecedented 5-year commitment made to the Long Beach Ethnic Studies Program by Superintendent Steinhauser, we are challenged to produce results that will match and surpass his pledge, with great success as a national Ethnic Studies Model that other school districts and universities can replicate throughout California and the U.S.

Prof. Armando Vazquez-Ramos, Administrative Coordinator
Long Beach Ethnic Studies Program 
Towards Ethnic Studies for all ! 

LBUSD-CSULB Long Beach Ethnic Studies Program Team

Seated (from left to right): LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, LB-ESP Administrative Coordinator Prof. Armando Vazquez-Ramos, CSULB Africana Studies Department chair Maulana Karenga, American Indian Studies program director Craig Stone, Chicano and Latino Studies Department chair Jose Moreno. Asian and Asian American Studies chair Teri Yamada and Prof. Barbara Kim (not pictured). 

Standing (from left to right): Prof. Matthew Cabrera, LBUSD Director of Equity Robert Tagorda, Prof. Truc HaMai, Prof. Elaine Bernal, Prof. Natalie Sartin, Prof. Larry Hashima, Prof. Yvette Moss, CCPE Program Manager Tracy Palacios, Prof. Elizabeth González Cardenas, Prof. Joseph Morales, Prof. Anna Nazarian-Peters, Prof. Jose Luis Serrano Najera, Prof. Becky Sanchez. 
(Photo credit: Lidieth Arevalo) 

“ The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a center of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.” 
~W.E.B. Du Bois

The California-Mexico Studies Center, Inc.
1551 N. Studebaker Rd.
Long Beach, CA 90815

White House selects Latino Scholarship Directory 

                as Education Bright Spot


The Directory is published in two formats:  (1) A traditional printed book with a bound in CD with 3,700 pages of information and searchable scholarships; and (2) the CD by itself.  We provide multiple formats in order to meet the needs of all students, as well as their families. The book is more than merely a directory. It contains 96 pages of insightful articles about changes in college today, financing college, how to find the best career for you, Latino & American Indian community insights, and much more
====================================== =======================================

Carlsbad, CA--The National Latino & American Indian Scholarship Directory has been selected by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as a Bright Spot in Hispanic education. The selection of The Scholarship Directory was announced on September 15, 2015 in Washington, DC, where it is being included in a national online catalog with 230 other programs investing in education for Hispanics. The National Latino & American Indian Scholarship Directory was honored in three key areas for it's work:

1. College Access for Latino Youth 
2. Efforts to Help Latino Youth Complete
3. Programs to Encourage Latinos Into 
    The STEM Fields

The Scholarship Directory includes over 2,000 sources of financial aid available to Latinos, with a combined total of almost $1 billion. Over the years, corporations including McDonalds, Chrysler, General Motors and Wal-Mart have supported the Scholarship Directory. In November 2015, the Scholarship Directory will become available electronically on a major new website.   

"Today, when student loan debt in the U.S. is over $1 trillion and when more than three million Latinos are attending college, it is critical to promote a Scholarship Directory that gives Latino students access to all the resources available to get an education without mortgaging their future" stated Andres Tobar, Co-publisher of the Scholarship Directory.  

From the time the Scholarship Directory was first published in 1997, more than 200,000 students have had access to it. It has been distributed in hard copies, CDs and DVDs to national Latino organizations, including NCLR, LULAC, HACU and NAHP. Initially, it was published by the National Association of Hispanic Publications when Andres Tobar was its Executive Director and Kirk Whisler was its publisher. Today, they continue to work together under the auspices of Latino Literacy Now, a 501©3 organization chaired by Edward James Olmos. To become involved in this effort, please contact Andres Tobar at 202-841-7988 or email andrestobar45@gmail.com

Sent by Kirk Whisler   

The book & CD package is $30 and the CD by itself is $25. 
Go to  www.WPRbooks.com and order the book RIGHT NOW.



Bright Spots in Hispanic Education national online catalog

Latinas in the U.S. 

Federal Agency Commitments to Action 

Common Core Program

History has been under-emphasized in recent years given the national testing focus on English / language arts and mathematics. The History Blueprint initiative is designed to address the marginalization of the discipline by providing teachers, administrators, and parents research-based and Standards-aligned resources to develop student critical thinking, literacy skills, and historical content knowledge.  


  • To increase student achievement and engagement
  • To improve student literacy and critical thinking in order to address the achievement gap
  • To provide formative and summative data on student content knowledge, critical thinking, reading and writing



All History Blueprint materials are Copyrighted by the Regents of the University of California, Davis.  These materials, however, are designed for K12 educational purposes, and as such, teachers have the right to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.  This use is predicated on the assumption that educators will give appropriate credit, provide a link to our site (http://chssp.ucdavis.edu), and indicate if any changes were made.  Educators may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the University or the California or the California History-Social Science Project endorses said teacher, school, or related organization.  Finally, educators or any members of the public may not apply any legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from accessing the materials or doing anything that this agreement permits.

Sent by Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan 

“fact-based” instructional material that the guide – like so much of the curriculum surrounding Common Core standards - See more at: http://unfilteredpatriot.com/common-core-teaches-slanted-view-of-guns/#sthash.osul3iN4.dpuf


A Breakthrough: The Mexican American Digital History Project 

The Mexican American Digital History Project and a broad group of allies have been working for over a year to add Chicano history to the California History/Social Science Framework, the document that determines what goes into textbooks in California.
For details see here:  http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2015/04/teachers-we-need-your-letters-on.html

We are pleased to inform you that the Quality Instructional Materials Commission of the California State Board of Education have posted their proposed revised framework and it includes most of what we wanted. 
It is here.  http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/cc/cd/hsssmcmtgagenda102015b.asp

You need to read the specific appendices for grades 9-12.
For example, the 11th. grade U.S. history would include:
For example, from 1969 through 1971 American Indian activists occupied Alcatraz Island; while in 1972 and 1973, American Indian Movement (AIM) activists took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, D.C. and held a stand-off at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Meanwhile, Chicano/a activists staged student walkouts in high schools around the country like the famed Chicano Moratorium in Los Angeles in 1970, protested the war in Vietnam, and formed a number of organizations to address economic and social inequalities as well as police brutality, and energized cultural pride. Students should learn about the emergence and trajectory of the Chicano civil rights movement by focusing on key groups, events, documents such as the 1968 walkout or “blowout” by approximately 15,000 high school students in East Los Angeles to advocate for improved educational opportunities and protest against racial discrimination, the El Plan de Aztlan, which called for the decolonization of the Mexican American people; El Plan de Santa Barbara, which called for the establishment of Chicano studies; and the formation of the Chicano  La Raza Unida Party, which sought to challenge mainstream political parties. California activists like Harvey Milk and Cleve Jones were part of a broader movement that emerged in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots,

And, students can study recent immigration to California, foreshadowing their studies on immigration in eleventh grade United States history. Students can analyze push and pull factors that contributed to shifting immigration patterns, but they should also learn about changes in immigration policy. Propositions 187, 209, and 227 attacked illegal immigration, affirmative action, and bilingual education. While all but one provision of Proposition 187 was blocked by federal courts, throughout the 1990s and even more so after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress provided for increased border enforcement. By the 2000s the status of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigration became a national political discussion. In California Latino/as became the largest ethnic group in 2010, and Latino/a children comprised more than 51% of public schools.  It was within this context that the Latino/a community became increasingly politically active.
The next steps are for this draft to be adopted  ( Oct 8/9 ) and then for it to be sent out for field review.  Our effort was to change the document before it went out to review.  It is very difficult to achieve changes once the QIMC adopts the draft.

So, we have won the day, but work remains to be done. We need to monitor that these changes are accepted.  But, as Cesar Chavez taught, celebrate your victories.

It is possible that some readers of this e mail  may want to achieve more.  That is fine.  We have made no commitments to not push for more.  Please read the drafts and submit your proposals directly to the QIM Commission.

This is a breakthrough on an effort we have been working on each revision since 1986.   Thank all of you who assisted.  This will change the textbooks in California at the next adoption.  For a detailed history of the effort, see here

If you have questions or comments, contact Duane Campbell of the Mexican American Digital History project in Sacramento at campd22702@gmail.com.   Paso a paso.
Dave Rodriguez, State President
Member, National Board of Directors
P.O. Box 1362
Camarillo, CA 93011-1362
Please visit our new website at www.californialulac.com
Sent by Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan  



Sergio Hernandez discusses his art as an instrument of Chicano activism.
Leticia Lebron aka LAK6, the latest superhero from Darryl Makes Comics
How Native Speakers Ruined Spanish for Everyone Else 
       by Jonathan Marcantoni 
“Political Salsa y Más” blog

On October 3, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Southern California NBC Channel 4 aired an interview of Sergio Hernandez in his studio, Artist Paints Latino Life In the program, Sergio is seen working on the painting above, while discussing his use of his art as a instrument of Chicano activism.  Examples of some of his painting, plus some of his sharp, political cartoons will probably result in you viewing the program a few times, as I did.   http://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/as-seen-on/330507001.html

During the interview, Sergio was asked about a magazine produced in the 1960-1970s, Con Safos.  I was familiar with Con Safos. Searching in Somos Primos, I found 13 mentions in  Somos Primos, on Con Safos.  I wrote Sergio asking if anyone had written a full article on the history of Con Safos.  

I was pleased to read Sergio's response, "There is a book being written right now by Maxine Jung and a video documentary being produced by Jim Velarde...you can go on YouTube and see a video tease by looking up, "Reflections from up on the Hill"    

I did go to "Reflections from up on the Hill" and watched it quite a few times.  The video includes interviews with many of the individuals involved with Con Safos, and even a clip with well-known Chicano Film/TV Director, Jesus Salvador Trevino, who began his career in film and television as a student activist documenting the 1960s Chicano civil rights struggle with a super-8 camera.  

If you are on Facebook, do check Sergio out and be amused with his biting cartoons.  
For over thirty years,  Sergio was an Investigator with the Los Angeles Public Defender's office. His perspective is probably much more developed then most of us.  https://www.facebook.com/sergio.hernandez.56679015

The Official Website of Darryl Makes Comics

Leticia Lebron aka LAK6, latest superhero from Darryl Makes Comics
By all appearances, Leticia Lebron is a happy-go-lucky teenager living in Chelsea. To her adopted parents, she’s a loving if reclusive 13-year-old girl. But Leticia has a secret: while her parents think she’s in her room, Leticia is actually roaming the streets of New York in search of evildoers to demolish.

LAK6, Leticia’s alter ego, is the latest superhero to be introduced by Darryl Makes Comics, the independent publishing house created in 2013 by hip-hop legend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and art director Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. Along with other famed graffiti artists and writers, Darryl Makes Comics is creating a universe that speaks to a generation of children of color raised on hip-hop culture.  

Recently I spoke with Miranda-Rodriguez, editor-in-chief of Darryl Makes Comics, about their newest heroine and the confluence of hip hop and comics in communities of color.

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, art director and editor-in-chief at Darryl Makes Comics

LETICIA LEBRON appeared briefly in last year’s DMC #1 as a brooding student who describes the title superhero as “useless” in the face of a criminal justice system designed to profit off the poor and minority groups. Did you know she would appear later issues as a heroine in her own right when that scene was being put together? How did you decide that Leticia would be the main heroine of DMC #1.5?

When we set out to make our inaugural graphic novel, we focused our energy on creating a universe that reflected a New York that was familiar to all of us. I initially had the idea of a city that looked like it was set in the 1980s because of the grittiness of the streets and the wildstyle graffiti everywhere. I was personally acquainted with many graffiti artists so I wanted them to be part of a comic book, which was never done before. I also knew that were we to create an alternate universe in which Darryl McDaniels never picked up a microphone or became part of Run DMC, it needed to be set in the 1980s to parallel the height of his music career. In this world he graduated from St. John’s University and went on to get his M.A. and became a teacher.

I used to teach high school in the early 1990s at Brooklyn’s El Puente. As an art teacher, I introduced many of my students to hip-hop culture via lessons that embraced the entire culture of graffiti, DJing, emceeing and b-boying (breaking). Many artists came to El Puente via my class, like Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew a master class, Alan Ket who designed sets with students, Rob Raida who gave students a DJing demo in one of my classes, and Q-Tip who moderated a talk and free-styled with students. The classroom for me was a space where knowledge was shared from the facilitator (teacher) to the student and back again.

For DMC #1, the students in the classrooms needed to reflect the savviness of growing up in Nueva York. A student like Leticia Lebron was very real for me. She’d not only be street smart, but would also take it upon herself to educate herself on what affects her and her peers as an adolescent. We wanted all of our characters for that book to have substance and depth. As a character, DMC was a legend that needed to be brought to life by characters who themselves had interesting personalities. DMC has been quoted many times saying that his goal has always been to expand the universe and introduce more characters. He was using himself and notoriety to open doors in this fictional world similar to how he did in the real world (he brought Public Enemy to Def Jam).

We didn’t create DMC #1 with a deliberate plan to develop our characters, but it happened for us organically. These characters spoke to us. Leticia spoke the loudest. She wanted her own adventure, to step up. It felt right to give her the first try. The three of us I remember sat in that meeting staring at each other and excited about giving LAK6 her own book. I was then charged with the responsibility of putting together the team to do it.

I did an extensive search for talent and found Tula Lotay from England to work with me to design LAK6’s costume. It needed for me to look like a b-girl and graffiti writer. I spoke with Lady Pink about her design as well, who emphasized that she shouldn’t look to girly, but rather badass. I also wanted to keep her young, at 13, so that she would be drawn as a young woman. Next I brought in writer Amy Chu who first came to New York in the 1980s as a college student. Coincidentally she did a paper on Lady Pink at this time, so it was destined that she pen the script based on the short story I had come up with. I went on Instagram and the internet to find our book’s illustrator and was introduced to the work of Allison Smith who had just recently crowd sourced funds for her first graphic novel Temujin, an illustrated book about Genghis Khan. DMC #1.5 would be Allison’s debut in comic books. I went back to Lady Pink who provided all the original graffiti for the book, and brought in my friend Kristin Sorra to digitally color all of the art.


Of course Miles Morales, who’s half black and half Puerto Rican, replaced Peter Parker as Spider-Man in 2011. As for Latina superheroes, I can’t really think of any off the top of my head. Are there any you can think of, and how does LAK6’s portrayal differ from depictions of Latinas in the past?

There are a few Latina superheroes from Marvel that I’m aware of like the White Tiger, based on Marvel’s first Puerto Rican superhero of the same name created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. In addition, a team very close to me are The Santerians created by Joe Quesada based on the orishas who were the stars of my first art exhibition with Marvel at the Caribbean Cultural Center here in New York.

LAK6 is a unique character in that she represents an amalgamation of cultures and a composite of real life women. She represented graffiti, b-girls and wing chun. Lady Pink and my madrina Iris Morales of the Young Lords were for me inspirations for LAK6, so she needed to come across as a badass. She’s also a foster child being raised by a couple in Chelsea, a neighborhood in New York that was once very much a Puerto Rican community. I purposefully picked this neighborhood to remind people of what the city was before all of the development and gentrification. If we don’t tell our stories, no one will.

You and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels are self-described nerds who spent their formative years reading comic books during the 1980s’ golden age of hip hop — something DMC senior editor Riggo “Riggs” Morales termed “b-boy geeks.” (Judging by his works, author Junot Díaz would probably place himself in that category as well.) How would you describe a b-boy geek?

Junot Díaz is a personal friend, and he and I have geeked out over comics and sci-fi for over 20 years of our friendship. He personally told me that for his book The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao he drew direct inspiration from the Fantastic Four. Beli is the Invisible Woman, Yunior is the Human Torch, Dr. Abelard is Reed Richards and Oscar himself is the Thing. Junot and I would also go on and on about hip hop, from Wu Tang to Nas. He’s definitely a #BBoyGeek. To me, that’s a person grounded equally in all that is nerdy like comic books, sci-fi and fantasty to all that is cool like hip hop. For me it’s easy to love both because they are both rooted in escapism and role playing.

I was born in 1984, which may explain why I was less into superhero comics as a kid and more into superhero shows that exploded in the latter half of the Eighties, such as X-Men, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. Nonetheless, why do you think these characters and their stories are so popular with kids, specifically black and Latino kids often from working-class families? 

Superheroes speak to all cultures generation after generation. It’s our mythology. It’s our novelas.

Sent by Latino Rebels  

How Native Speakers Ruined Spanish for Everyone Else
Jonathan Marcantoni 
Posted: 27 Sep 2015 

(Public Domain)

Latino issues, as they are presented in the media and in our communities, have more or less calcified and threaten to become parody. When a Latino celebrity or media personality is asked onto a show, what do they speak about? Immigration. No matter which country you come from in Latin America, your issues are eventually whittled away until they can fit into the putrid-smelling box that is immigration. Even attempts to decrease stereotypes of Latinos in the arts by showing us as coming from all walks of life, those journeys are inevitably tied to achieving the American Dream and fulfill the promise of the immigration that brought us here.

No matter what we do, we cannot escape the subject of us being foreigners. Here, and yet not here. The modern Latino movement is predominantly driven not just by our outsider status but by our obnoxiously overwhelming desire to no longer be outsiders. In the immigration debate, no matter which group is being talked about, the assertion that these people are or want to be Americans — that they love this country, its values, its people and its freedoms — is touted before anyone who will listen. Yet at the same time, Latino activists are the first to tout the great things about Latino culture, like the food, the music, the fashions and the art. Just not the language.

I don’t mean Spanglish. I mean straight-up Spanish. To be fluent and celebrating the beauty and the fact that what binds together this region of 21 countries is that, in spite of their myriad differences, Latinos can all understand one another, is brushed aside. What has been prevalent recently have been videos which showcase the growing community of Latinos who choose not to learn Spanish for one reason or another (and it is a choice) but are frustrated by the expectation of Latinos and whites alike for them to know the language.

Spanish, and one’s proficiency in it, is being seen by a whole generation as a burden, a wall that prevents them from being fully accepted by the society they grew up in. Spanglish was the happy medium, where we could celebrate both sides of our culture. To utilize Spanglish was viewed as a method for empowerment, but for many young Latinos and Latino activists, Spanish is anathema.

Yet to promote one’s latinidad is to promote the culture itself, and culture is intimately tied to the language in which it is communicated. And don’t start with me about how Spanish was a colonial language forced upon natives and so you don’t want to learn it because it’s the language of your oppressors. Is English any better in terms of colonialism and Native American genocide? Why speak English but not Spanish? Why embrace Latino values, culture and traditions, but not the language associated with it? Why aren’t Latino activists promoting bilingualism and trying to push the United States to promote multilingualism in the education system and greater tolerance of minority languages?

Well, it has something to do with articles like this.

Quite simply, native Spanish speakers are to blame for U.S.-born Latinos not learning or championing the language of their people. While some might argue that assimilation is inevitable in immigrant communities, what about peoples who are officially stateless in a hostile country, like the Kurds, the Basques or, until 1948, the Jews? Those groups have made preservation of their language central to the cohesiveness and survival of their race. The Jews did it for almost 2,000 years, and the Kurds and Basques have been doing it for hundreds of years. So why can’t Latino immigrants keep their language alive for more than a generation?

Well, it doesn’t help that pretty much every Latino has a story similar to this one:
Growing up, my dad wanted only English spoken around the house. Him and my mom believed you couldn’t teach children two languages at the same time, and even though my mom tried to teach us some things here or there, they never really stuck. My cousins on the island would make fun of me, say I wasn’t really Puerto Rican because I didn’t speak Spanish. Whenever I met a Spanish speaker, they would shame me for not speaking the language and ask why my parents didn’t teach me. When I did attempt to speak, and I’d make a mistake, I would be either made fun of or the person would switch to English. Whenever I spoke and did not make a mistake, I would be told I did not speak Spanish ‘correctly’ or that I ‘had no accent.’ Eventually, I had a big inferiority complex about speaking the language that I never got over.

Statue of 17th-century author Mig
I recently asked Yo Soy Latina author Linda Nieves-Powell about the subject, and here is what she had to say:

I think because if you are a Latino who chooses to speak English, their perception is that you are selling out or you are not to be trusted because you are not a “true Latino” because of course, real Latinos speak Spanish. Lol. I have to tell you that even when I tell people I understand it but don’t speak it, they continue to push the issue.

That’s right, native speakers: you all are assholes.

You also have no one to blame but yourselves, and before you get too angry by my saying that, hear me out. If you leave your country for one with a different dominant language, and you raise your kids giving them hell over their use of your mother tongue, and you use it as a source of criticism and shame, while at the same time telling everyone how proud you are to

With the exception of the last sentence, the story is my own. I did have an inferiority complex, but I got over it and eventually became fluent. (But more on that later.)

Statue of 17th-century author Miguel de Cervantes at the entrance of Spain’s National Library. Spanish is often called “the language of Cervantes” (Luis García/Flickr)

I recently asked Yo Soy Latina author Linda Nieves-Powell about the subject, and here is what she had to say:

I think because if you are a Latino who chooses to speak English, their perception is that you are selling out or you are not to be trusted because you are not a “true Latino” because of course, real Latinos speak Spanish. Lol. I have to tell you that even when I tell people I understand it but don’t speak it, they continue to push the issue.  Who is to blame?

No one is to blame but yourselves, and before you get too angry by my saying that, hear me out. If you leave your country for one with a different dominant language, and you raise your kids giving them hell over their use of your mother tongue, and you use it as a source of criticism and shame, while at the same time telling everyone how proud you are to be in this new country and that you are making a better life than what was in your old country, so inevitably you make the old country seem like a backward hell hole, and your kid grows up not caring for either your homeland or its language, your kid isn’t to blame. You are.


That is the contradiction at the heart of so many Latino identity crises and issues. How can we expect Latino unity when half our population makes us feel bad for not meeting a certain standard of latinidad? How can you expect people to carry on traditions and maintain the culture, when you all but tell them they have to abandon the old ways in order to fit in and achieve the American Dream? The behavior is beyond hypocritical, and it is the reason why when I see a video of a slam poet bashing the Spanish language and how she associates Spanish with all the bad things in her life, and the comment boards are praising her to high heaven and calling her brave (for what, I am not sure), I cannot help but feel sad. Sad for her. Sad for my community. Sad for all those people who praised her because at some point in their past, they were made to feel ashamed for the fact that their parents left their homeland. Worse of all, the people who made them feel ashamed were most likely their own parents.

You see, I love Spanish. It is an incredibly beautiful, lyrical, and profound language. Speaking more than one language is scientifically proven to increase brain functions and expand a person’s learning abilities. Being multilingual allows a person to understand multiple perspectives, because built into every language is a worldview that is distinct and, when coupled with another culture, can better inform a person on why their dominant culture is the way it is. It also opens up job opportunities, travel opportunities and the opportunity to discover great literature, music and movies in the original languages.

Gabriel García Márquez, author of ‘Cien años de soledad’ (thierry ehrmann/Flickr)

Appreciating art is actually how I came to be fluent in Spanish. When I was 18 I read One Hundred Years of Solitude. It was the first novel I read by a Latino author, and while I had taken Spanish in high school, I never took it very seriously due to the aforementioned inferiority complex. Yet reading that classic novel made me determined to read Marquez in his original language. To read and understand his poetic narratives the way he meant for them to be read became an obsession of mine, and so when I became fluent and earned a degree in Spanish studies, it wasn’t so I could impress my cousins or strangers, or even so I could go back to the island and communicate with everyone in our native tongue. No, it was so I could experience these wonderful artists as they had expressed themselves, rather than through the filter of a translator. As a result, for a while I read Spanish better than I spoke it, but once I met my wife and she encouraged me to speak more, I improved in that area as well. The negative connotations I had grown up with eventually faded away, and I came to see how integral Spanish is to being Puerto Rican.

I don’t want to make the mistake of my elders and use this moment to chastise you for understanding Spanish but not speaking it, or only knowing a few phrases, or none at all. I’ve just demonstrated my first-hand knowledge of how wrong that is. Instead, I encourage native speakers, when you come across a Latino who isn’t a fluent Spanish speaker, that you ask them about their interests and maybe recommend a musician, a filmmaker or a writer from their country of origin and inspire them to become a fan. Maybe they still won’t learn the language, but they will create a positive relationship with the culture and, in turn, with Spanish as well. Preserving a culture requires cultivating appreciation, and that begins with our elders and native speakers dropping the shame tactics, dropping the arrogance and purity tests, and instead being a positive spokesperson for the beautiful Latino cultures who proudly express themselves in Spanish.

Jonathan Marcantoni is a Puerto Rican novelist and co-owner of Aignos Publishing. His books, Kings of 7th Avenue and The Feast of San Sebastian, deal with issues of identity and corruption in both the Puerto Rican diaspora and on the island. He is co-founder (with Chris Campanioni) of the YouNiversity Project, which mentors new writers. He holds a BA in Spanish studies from the University of Tampa and a MH in creative writing from Tiffin University. He lives in Colorado Springs and can be reached at jon.marcantoni@gmail.com.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  


“Political Salsa y Más” blog

Estimadas/os: For those who may be interested, my latest “Political Salsa y Más” blog, Mexican American baseball “tiros” and their legacy…… is on “Latinopia”—the link is below. 

In this blog I focus on community-based baseball within the Mexican American community and how baseball has been much more than just a sport in our community’s history. Community-based baseball has entertained…brought communities together…served to integrate towns…been a vehicle for labor and political organizing and much more.

For those of you not familiar with it, Latinopia is a video-driven website with sections on Art, Literature, Theater, Music, Cinema and Television, Food, History, and Sci Fi, which you’ll find to be a treasure trove of information. Tons of great, quality stuff. Check it out!

Latinopia was created and is operated by Chicano media pioneer Jesús S.Treviño, who documented on film the most important events in the Mexican American/Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jesus’ book, “Eyewitness: A Filmmaker's Memoir of the Chicano Movement,” is an excellent account of that dynamic period. “CHICANO! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement,” the 1997 four-part PBS documentary series that Jesús co-produced remains a classroom staple throughout the country.

Jesus has directed episodes of many popular television series, including Law and Order, Criminal Minds, ER, NYPD Blue, Crossing Jordan, The Practice, and Chicago Hope and has received dozens of national and international awards and recognitions, such as: ALMA Award for Outstanding Director of a Television Drama, and Outstanding Co-Executive Producer of Best Prime-time drama series, and (twice) Directors Guild of America award.



ISLA, The International Society of Latino Authors
NNPA and NAHP Join Forces to Create National Advertising Task Force
New America Media 
Luis Guzman to receive NALIP Latino Lens Legacy Award
A Landmark Tejana Thesis

A Very Special Invitation
After decades of being on the fringe of mainstream publishing, we strongly feel that the time has come for books by and about Latinos to finally get  the attention that we deserve. The fastest way for this to happen is for us to work together and present a united front. Latino Literacy Now is adding an important new program to its offerings-the International Society of Latino Authors (ISLA). Membership in the society is open to qualifying authors, publishers, and service providers. We hope you will join  us in this exciting and important new project. (See the membership form on the second page to join.)

Seven Reasons We Need A 
Membership Organization
  1. Promote that Latinos ARE Readers.  Too often Latinos are left out of the discussion of who reads. We cannot let that happen. In truth, Latinos in the USA will purchase more than $650 million in books in 2015. And Latinos are the largest segment of youth in many key markets in the USA. They ARE readers and buyers! 
  2. Helping Authors Advance.  While many of the books entered in the Int'l Latino Book Awards are well written, some -especially those from small presses or that are self published-have one or more areas where they need help. The ISLA newsletter and webinars will address these areas with helpful information and tips. 
  3. Lobby for more Recognition.  With our united front, we will seek more recognition within the education and publishing industries for Latino authors and their work and for books about the Latino experience.  
  4. Create Speakers Bureau.  Requests for speakers are received weekly. Through this program we will develop a system  for providing speaking opportunities to our members
  5. Creating Sales.  With Latinos in the USA spending more than $650 million in books a year, we need to see an increasing percentage of those purchases going to books by and about Latinos. ISLA will implement marketing strategies to grow the market for these books.
  6. Distribution.   Most importantly, we need to work together to increase distribution to libraries, bookstores, schools, and consumers. ISLA will spearhead work to make this happen.
  7. United Voice.   There is strength in numbers. If we are to grow our industry segments-books by or about Latinos, books in Spanish, bilingual children's books, other books targeting Latinos--we MUST  work together.

Kirk Whisler
Executive Editor

NNPA and NAHP Join Forces to Create National Advertising Task Force
Represents Groundbreaking Media Alliance

National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) announced the formation of a National Advertising Task Force to educate marketers on the benefits and importance of the African American and Hispanic newspaper market.  Both boards of directors unanimously agreed to this historic alliance.  This is the first time the NNPA and NAHP have joined forces for such an effort.  

The NNPA and the NAHP will be pre-signing an agreement on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at the NAHP Headquarters in the National Press Building in Washington, DC.  and final agreement in Dallas during the NAHP Convention.


  New America Media

Hey Mimi - Thanks for sharing the new on the ethnic newspaper groups' merger.
Above is a link to a consortium of ethnic media companies - New America Media.  I have a high regard for this organization and its founder, Sandy Close. They do a lot to support the ethnic media community. 
Cheers - Jerry Gibbons 


The ethnic categories:
African American


Middle Eastern
South Asian

Luis Guzman to receive NALIP Latino Lens Legacy Award

NALIP is honored to present the Latino Lens Legacy Award to Luis Guzmán in recognition of his extensive body of work in entertainment that continues to inspire Latino creatives in front and behind the camera. He has defined every character he has stepped into, whether as the scene stealing sidekick or powerful lead, truly applying a creative perspective that we recognize as the “Latino Lens”. Join us in honoring Luis Guzmán at the Latino Lens Filmmaker Showcase as he receives this special award, October 18 at the Avalon Hollywood! 

Puerto Rican actor Luis Guzmán is largely known for his character work. Born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Luis Guzmán grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where he got his first taste of acting in a high school play. Guzmán appeared in his first film, Short Eyes, in 1977, but his big break into TV and movie acting didn’t come until 1986, when he made a guest appearance on Miami Vice. He is a favorite of director Steven Soderbergh, who cast him in Out of Sight, The Limey, and Traffic, and Paul Thomas Anderson, who cast him in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. He also voiced Ricardo Diaz in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. He recently starred in the HBO original series How to Make It in America and the Netflix series Narcos. Catch Guzmán on Code Black (CBS), where he plays Jose Santiago, the affable but tough and strong, no-s**t, seen-it-all, senior nurse.



Jovita Gonzalez (1904-1983) wrote two historical novels that were not published until after her death and were edited by UT professors.  The novels were Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzalez and edited by Jose E. Limon and published by Arte Publico Press in Houston and her other book was Caballero, a Historical Novel written by Jovita Gonzalez and Eve Raleigh, edited by Jose E, Limon and Maria Cotera and published by Texas A&M Press. I write about Jovita's books in an article I wrote on writing historical fiction for hopefully young Latino writers.

Thanks for giving me a heads-up on Jovita's Thesis Life Along the Border, A Landmark Tejana Thesis. I will order the book tonight.

Cheers, Ernesto  

Life Along the Border: A Landmark Tejana Thesis
I have read a ton of great reviews about Jovita Gonzalez master thesis no available in book format in the book “Life Along the Border: A Landmark Tejana Thesis”. To be honest with you I have yet to read this book but according to Tijerina, the written of Tejano Legacy, it is a very important work when it comes to detailing life in the Rio Grande Valley. So the reason that I am sharing it with you is that this book is available at Amazon for only $1.74 and I wanted to make you aware of it before the price goes up or it is no longer available.

If you are a member of Las Villas del Norte make sure to buy a copy since it will be a book that I know we will discuss, in the future, in our book club.
I just received my copy two days ago and I am already pages into this book and from the very little I have read you will not regret getting a copy and at that price there is no reason you should not get one. Genealogy wise this book provides a great view of the Rio Grande Valley’s history and social life. As I mentioned before my wife’s ancestors lived in this area during this time period.

Cover of Book: Life Along the Border: A Landmark Tejana Thesis
A Life Along the Border
Click here or on the above image to view on Amazon.com
Strarting $0.01 Used and $1.75 New Buy Now

Description of book by Amazon:
The 1929 master’s thesis of folklorist, Jovita Gonzalez has served as source material on the Texas-Mexican borderlands for more than seventy-five years but has never before been published. When Gonzalez decided to pursue a master’s degree in history from the University of Texas, she was already the vice-president and president-elect of the Texas Folklore Society. Despite this, she wrote a defiant master’s thesis that offered a competing vision of Texas history and culture to that promoted by the “founding fathers” of Texas folklore. Her complex analysis de-emphasizes the role of the Texas Revolution in Texas history and explores the ways in which Anglos and Mexicans developed tense ties following the U.S.-Mexico War. Her approach to Texas history elegantly counters the “rhetoric of dominance” of the established historians of the American West of her time. Gonzalez’s thesis is now available for the first time to a wider reading public, especially those who value a Tejana legacy that presents the borderlands as a crucible in which a new kind of identity is being formed.

Table of Contents:
Here is the table of contents of this book so that you may know exactly what it contains.
Editors Preface
Part I
Introduction: A Woman of the Borderlands, by Maria Eugenia Cotera
Part II
Social Life in Cameron, Starr, and Zapata Counties: The Master’s Thesis of Jovita Gonzalez

1 Historical Background
2. History of the Settlements at Zapata, Roma, Rio Grande City, and Brownsville
3. Present Mexican Population in the Counties Considered
4. Social and Economic Life before the Development of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
5. Border Politics
6 What the Coming of the Americans Has Meant to the Border People

About the Author:
Jovita González (January 18, 1904 – 1983) was a Mexican American folklorist, educator, and writer, best known for writing Caballero: A Historical Novel (co-written with Margaret Eimer, pseudonym Eve Raleigh). González was also involved in the commencement in the League of United Latin American Citizens and was the first female and Mexican to be the president of the Texas Folklore Society from 1930-1932. Click Here to Read Full Wikipidia Article on Jovita Gonzalez

Sign up to our mailing list and get this Ebook for free:
50 Websites for South Texas and Northeastern Mexico Genealogy
These are the same websites that have helped me research some of my lines back to the 1500's.
Source: Neodance@aol.com 


Nov 5th: Remembering California's Bilingual Constitution
Nov 7th: San Juan Capistrano Celebration of Life
Nov 7th: 2015 LULAC Orange County Eight Hispanic Women of the Year
Nov 14th: SHHAR: Margie de la Torre Aguirre, Origins of LULAC, Initial
  Cause for Involvement in Orange County & LULAC's Relevance Today
Photo from SHHAR October meeting 
Film: "On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam."
What is the Grand Jury?

"Remembering California's  Bilingual Constitution"
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Heritage Museum of Orange County
3101 Harvard St.  Santa Ana, CA 92704

Celebrating California's Spanish/Mexican legacy.
In partnership with: Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR) 

Featuring Keynote Speaker, the Honorable Edward F. Butler with his presentation, “Our Spanish Allies during the Revolutionary War” 
Home page: http://judge-ed-butler.sarsat.org/ 
History information: http://granaderos.org/files/SpainInvolement.pdf 

Part of the program will include a Readers' Theater presentation of the Browne debates by a youth group.  The Browne debates were held in September and October in 1849. 
J. Ross 
Browne was appointed to keep a journal and log of the debate during the Convention of California

Also featured is an exhibit of historical maps, a series representing the Spanish colonization of the Americas  by well known artist Eddie Martinez.  Below, are a couple of examples of Eddie's maps.  

To register for the November 5th event, go to:

Spanish Pathfinders in Alta California La Fronteria de Primería Alta 


Entertainment Design


Email: eddiemart1512@gmail.com


Eddie Martinez's vast entertainment design experience defies traditional categories and labels.  His career has spanned the many disciplines that today account for his unique prestige and acclaim.


From his beginnings in Los Angeles, Martinez's artistic prowess soon would land him an entree in the motion picture arena, working with Production Designer, John de Cuir on Hello Dolly, On a Clear Day and The Great White Hope and other 20th Century Fox films such as Doctor Doolittle, Planet of the Apes and A Star Is Born.  Martinez's gift of design would soon put him in television where he worked on such television series as Peyton Place, Julia, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Batman and NBC’s The Dean Martin-Gold Diggers Show, The Laugh-In with Rowan & Martin, The Andy Williams Show, The Flip Wilson Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  In 1986 he was the Production Designer of television’s Nosotros 16th Annual Golden Eagle Awards, produced by Laurelwood Productions.


Martinez was recruited to head the Walt Disney design team of Imagineers on the Mexico Pavilion show ride for EPCOT's World Showcase.  His work for Walt Disney World in Florida also includes major historical oil paintings for the pre-show of the Hall of Presidents, working with industry luminaries such as motion picture academy award winner Vittorio Nino Novaresse, costume designer and Disney theme park designer, Herb Ryman.


Martinez’s work can also be seen in Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where he designed and painted a 6’ x 55' oil mural entitled The Fifth Freedom, which includes the first official oil portrait of Walt Disney.


In 1981, Martinez free-lanced as a Concept Designer on various projects, including MCA's Universal Tour King Kong; Conan the Barbarian; and The San Francisco BART Earthquake; as well as Production Designer for Six Flags' The Admiral, in St. Louis and the Power Plant, in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland.  Martinez also turned his design expertise to live stage and major events, one of which was supervising the set construction and scenic set paintings of MGM's spectacular Hello, Hollywood, Hello, in Reno, Nevada.


Martinez was the concept designer for David Wolper's l984 Los Angeles Olympics opening ceremony.  In 1986 he was the float designer for the Beverly Hills St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and in 1991, he was the Production Designer on the Festival Familiar de Artes Mexicanas/Family Festival of Mexican Arts, in Hancock Park, celebrating the opening of the exhibition, MEXICO: SPLENDORS OF THIRTY CENTURIES at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


Martinez was the production designer for El Teatro Campesino’s musical stage play, Corridos, written and directed by Luis Valdez. The play was performed in the Marine Memorial Theater, San Francisco; the Old Globe Theater, Balboa Park, San Diego; and the Variety Arts Center Theater, in Los Angeles, California.  He was the Production Designer of the Time Machine of Dreams for the Puroland theme park in Tama, Japan, and in Kyushu, he master planned Harmonyland theme park in Oita, Kyushu Island, Japan, for the Sanrio Company, Ltd.  In Mainland China, Martinez master planned the Oriental Studios Theme Park in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.  In Taiwan, he master planned the Discovery World Theme Park in Taichung.


As Chief Project Designer of EM2 Group, Inc., Martinez supervised the execution of his architectural thematic design for the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada and he went on to create and work as production designer of the Festival Fountain Show, an animatronic, light and sound show.  At Harrah’s he created, designed and was production designer of the illuminated marquee featuring large sculptures of the Carnival King and the winged Phoenix Lady.  Among other designs in Las Vegas, NV, Martinez created the themed festival Sky Parade for the Rio Hotel 
& Casino.

Eddie explains his dedication to the early Spanish colonization of the Americas in an article under the United States, click.   Do read and see examples of other maps which will be on display.

This event is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and is a professional learning experience 
designed for educators and parents with children in grades 4 thru 12.  

Teachers will appreciate a display of the Lorenzo books, an award winning youth series of historical novels, written by Lila and Rick Guzman. 

To register, go to:


People sometimes ask: "How much of the Lorenzo series is true?" Lila Guzman answers:  All the Lorenzo novels are fiction, but they are based on facts. We call our writing "Faction."

Writing a historical novel is a special challenge in many ways. Sometimes, crucial information is missing. For example, we were unable to find descriptions of George Gibson or William Linn. No one seems to have painted a portrait of either man. We based our description of George Gibson on the portrait of his son, John Banister Gibson. William Linn was killed by Indians in 1781. Linn Station Road in Louisville, Kentucky, bears his name. Unfortunately, no one knows what he looked like.

Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest (Book 2). General George Washington names Lorenzo a captain in the Continental Army. Lorenzo goes on another challenging mission to Texas to purchase 500 head of cattle from the Spanish. With Colonel De Galvez's aid, Lorenzo struggles to herd the cattle and his soldiers to the Mississippi River via the King's Highway —a rustic dirt road through the provinces of Texas and Louisiana.

Lorenzo and the Turncoat (Book 3). Lorenzo is living in New Orleans and working as a medical doctor. A hurricane sweeps through New Orleans two days before Lorenzo and Eugenie's wedding, leaving the town severely damaged and Eugenie missing. This novel focuses on the Battle of Baton Rouge in 1779 and the scarlet fever.

Lorenzo and the Pirate (Book 4). In his next adventure, eighteen-year-old Lorenzo Bannister boards a pirate ship to render medical aid. His act of kindness leads him on a fast-paced adventure that includes an amputation, a naval battle with the British, and a shipwreck on a deserted island (Cozumel).

We are currently working on the fifth book, Lorenzo and the Prison Ship in which the British capture Lorenzo and imprison him on the infamous prison ship, Jersey. Future novels will find Lorenzo at the Battle of Pensacola and the Battle of Yorktown.

To read first chapters of the Lorenzo series, visit  www.lilaguzman.com .

If you would like to schedule an author visit, please contact Lila at Iorenzol776@yahoo.com. Put "author visit" in the subject line.

To register for the November 5th event, go to:

The Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research invites the public to its Saturday, November 14, 2015 monthly meeting.  Margie de la Torre Aguirre is presenting "Origins of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), the Initial Cause for Involvement in Orange County and LULAC's Relevance Today".  Ms. Aguirre is an author, producer, composer and artist and is currently writing a musical, "Come Follow Me".  As LULAC member and Chair of California LULAC Heritage Committee, she researched and wrote a book on the History of LULAC titled “LULAC PROJECT: PATRIOTS WITH CIVIL RIGHTS.

Margie de la Torre Aguirre is an author, producer, composer and artist. She is the owner of Abrazo Productions, a small multi-media business specializing in music, theater, digital design, video and fine art. She has her own fine art and creative digital art gallery in Fullerton and resides in Yorba Linda. She studied art under Jamie Kough at The Drawing Board and music at Fullerton Community College. She studied voice under Sara McFerrin. She is a graduate of University of California Santa Barbara in Combination Social Science with emphasis in Political Science and has a Master of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton.  

As Chair of California LULAC Heritage Committee she researched and wrote a book on the History of LULAC titled LULAC PROJECT: PATRIOTS WITH CIVIL RIGHTS. She is currently writing a musical, "Come Follow Me".

The free program, sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR), will be held at the Orange Family History Center, 674 S. Yorba Street, Orange, CA.

Genealogical research assistance will be available from 9 -10 a.m., and Aguirre will speak from 10 -11:30 a.m.

For additional information, contact  Letty Rodela at lettyr@sbcglobal.net.


Photo from SHHAR October meeting

Lf-Rt: Letty Rodella, SHHAR President., October speaker, Michael S. Perez, Tom Saenz, Secretary, and Mimi.  Michael spoke on his personal family history, which took him from, "When I started doing my family history, I was Baptist, then I found out I was a Catholic, and then I found out I was Jewish."  

SHHAR is committed to fact-based history.  As such, the group searches for family information in primary documents, as well as historical accounts.  Somos Primos has made Michael's research on the history, global dispersion, and presence of Jews in the Southwest available at http://somosprimos.com/michaelperez/michaelperez.htm 

November 7th: San Juan Capistrano Celebration of Life


The Sixth Annual Mass of Remembrance for deceased family and friends will be held, November 7, 2015 at 9:30 am  at the Old Mission Historic Cemetery.
The cemetery will be open November 6th from 9 am to 4 pm for those that might want to prepare their family grave sites in preparation for the special mass.

Parking attendants will be available for special needs.  Comfortable shoes are recommended.  Coffee and donuts will be served immediately following the mass on cemetery grounds.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Jerry Nieblas 949-496-8782
Sent by Frances Rios


November 7th:  2015 Orange County Eight Hispanic Women of the Year
6:00pm – 9:00pm
League of United Latin American Citizens
Santa Ana LULAC Council #147
Established: National - 1929 | Santa Ana - 1946
PO Box 1810, Santa Ana, CA 92702-1810
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Santa Ana Council #147 has announced the selection of eight (8) women as the recipients of the 2015 Orange County Hispanic Women of the Year.  The recipients are chosen based on their meaningful voluntary community efforts, personal accomplishments, and their involvement in civic affairs. Please join us in recognizing these outstanding community leaders!

Patty Arvielo, President of New American Funding - Business

Teresa A. Hernandez , Business Owner - The Arts (Music)

Christina Kalogris Rush, Office Manager/Community Outreach - Volunteer Community Service

Linda J. Lopez , OC Health Care Agency BSN, RN, Sr. PHN - Public Health Advocate

Dr. Gabriela Mafi, Superintendent at Garden Grove Unified School District - Education

Patricia Maldonado McMaster, Director of Community Programs, Orange County School of the Arts-  Volunteer Community Service

Lupe Valencia, Santa Ana Unified School District Senior Buyer - Education

Jeanette Vargas Zook, Severely Handicap Para educator - Public Service

The honorees will be recognized at an awards banquet on:
Date/Time: Saturday, November 7, 2015; 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Place: The Ebell Club, 625 French Street, Santa Ana 92701
Tickets: $50.00 per person for RSVP received by October 20, 2015. 
             $60.00 per person after October 20, 2015 and at the door.
RSVP/INFO: Viola Myre 714-606-2852 Email: vmmyre@yahoo.com

Art Montez, a longtime civil rights activist and a school board member in Orange County, was among the veterans interviewed for the film "On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam."


Mylène Moreno's documentary "On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam" will broadcast Tuesday at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal, Orange County's public television station. Check the schedule at pbssocal.org for channel listings.  Like his father, brother, uncles and cousins, Art Montez served his country in the military.

Raised in a segregated mining town in Arizona, Montez didn’t have enough money to continue his education beyond two years of community college.

With a low draft number and no college deferment, a 21-year-old Montez joined the Marines in 1970, certain of fighting in the Vietnam War.

Montez, a school board member in Buena Park, doesn’t talk much about his war experience. Yet he remains proud to be counted among the 170,000 Latinos who served in Vietnam.

“We never backed down,” says Montez, 66, a longtime Orange County civil rights activist. “We didn’t run to Mexico. We didn’t run to Canada.”

The story of young men like Montez who fought in their country’s most divisive conflict even as they met with discrimination at home is captured in the new documentary “On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam.”

The film debuts Tuesday night on PBS stations around the country, a salute during Hispanic Heritage Month to heroism and heartbreak wrapped up in a rich heritage of military service.

Montez is among those interviewed in the film, which shows how the mostly working class status of Latinos who came of age in the 1960s made them more vulnerable to the draft, while loyalty to their country left them duty-bound to serve.

During his last days in Vietnam in 1972, Montez crossed paths with a cousin just beginning his own combat tour.

Montez was typical of Latinos of his generation who, like their counterparts in African American and poor white communities, went to Vietnam and suffered casualties in disproportionate numbers.

Filmmaker Mylène Moreno wanted to tell the story of Latino veterans as a reminder of the significant role they played – and at what price.

“They were not reluctant to step up and do what their country was asking of them,” Moreno says.

She also hopes to point out similarities to who fights our wars today. The draft is gone but the all-volunteer military is mostly young people from the working class, she says.

“It remains relevant because of the way we continue to go to war, relying on such a small portion of our population.”

Even with the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon this year, Moreno believes that the Vietnam War is fading from our collective memory and from history lessons in school.

“I’m not sure the younger generation understands,” Moreno says of both the sacrifices and the politics of the Vietnam War.

Moreno, 50, was in grade school in Torrance when the Vietnam War ended. She remembers the 1973 homecoming for the American prisoners of war when she was 8 and the POW bracelets that her babysitters wore.

“I was just old enough to remember the emotions of the war, the divisiveveness,” says Moreno, whose family moved to Irvine in her adolescence. She now lives in the Los Angeles area.

The first Navy pilot captured and sent as a POW to the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” was the grandson of Mexican immigrants, Everett Alvarez Jr., whom Moreno interviews for her film.

Her father was drafted in 1961, but the escalation of American troops in Vietnam was a few years away. Moreno had an uncle who fought in Vietnam. He never spoke about the war when he returned, but did agree to talk to her years later for an assignment she was given while a student at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana.

“It was very difficult for him,” she recalls of her conversation with her uncle.

Decades later, the same deep emotions surfaced in making “On Two Fronts.”

“I watch it and still get very caught up in the heartbreak and the trials of the wonderful guys that shared their time with me,” she says.

Among her work, Moreno, a graduate of Stanford University’s documentary film program, produced the first episode of the 1996 PBS series “¡CHICANO! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.”

The episode concluded with a look at a deadly anti-war march in Los Angeles and planted the seed for what would become “On Two Fronts.”

Earning the trust of Vietnam veterans posed a challenge to Moreno. Doors began to open after she met Montez at a Memorial Day event in East Los Angeles a few years ago. Montez helped connect her to veterans and families for “On Two Fronts.” He also personified the limited choices facing many Latinos, Moreno says.

“Art was able to put in great, clear relief what the alternatives were: You go work in the mines, you go work in the fields, or you go to the military.”

Part of the film explores what happened to nine young men from Montez’s hometown of Morenci, Ariz.

The “Morenci 9” was a group of high school friends – white, Latino and Native American – who joined the Marines together. All went to Vietnam; six died in combat. They were all jocks, tough guys a couple of years ahead of Montez in high school: “We used to call them The Animal Club.”

The casualties suffered one after the other between 1967 and 1969 made national news and drew anti-war activists to Morenci.

Moreno makes the point that the families who lost loved ones “did not want to become a symbol, or for anybody to assume because they had such great losses they were ready to turn against the war.”

Both patriotism and skepticism about the war ran deep among Latinos, Moreno says. “One thing interesting for me to learn was that the response within the Latino community to the war was as divided as the country was,” she says.

Montez, a Centralia School District trustee, recalls having to fight for his benefits under the GI bill.

He helped organize Vietnam veterans in securing money for their education more quickly and in establishing a veterans center at the University of Arizona, where he enrolled after his discharge from the Marine Corps.

Since settling here in 1989, he’s worked on such issues as immigration, electoral districting, housing discrimination and veterans’ rights through the League of United Latin American Citizens and other organizations. Montez also joined in calling for an expedited naturalization process for immigrants who serve in the U.S. military.

Through the broad reach of television, he hopes the documentary will educate people about the military contributions of Latinos and prompt discussions about what he sees as a lingering disconnect between those who serve and the rest of the nation.

“We shouldn’t have veterans dying like we had in Phoenix and other areas waiting for services. Regardless of ethnicity, veterans are still being marginalized.”

Contact the writer: 714-796-7793 or twalker@ocregister.com

Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan   yvduncan@yahoo.com 

What is the Grand Jury?

The California Grand Jury is unique in its function and selection process compared to other juries, including petit and trial juries and federal grand juries. Each county is required by law to impanel a body of 23 or 19 members, depending on county population, to serve for a term of one year. This body is mandated to investigate and report on both criminal and civil matters within the county...


On behalf of the Orange County Superior Court, I am asking your assistance to inform Orange County residents about serving on the next Orange County Grand Jury.  A news release is attached with more information; it is also posted online, http://bit.ly/1Rio1fb . We would appreciate it if you could share this information via your website, newsletter, or other communications with members, constituents, colleagues, friends, and the public. 


If you use Twitter, you can also share our tweet on this subject by retweeting the Grand Jury information posted on the Court’s Twitter page, https://twitter.com/OCSuperiorCourt .  The application deadline is Jan. 22, 2016 for the one-year term that begins July 1, 2016.  The application, information, photos, and videos about this unique opportunity are available on the Grand Jury website, http://www.ocgrandjury.org/ .

hank you for any assistance you can provide.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.


Sincerely,  Gwen Vieau

Public Information Officer

Superior Court of Orange County

Phone: (657) 622-7097

Fax:  (714) 647-4849





The House of Aragon by Michael S. Perez, Chapter 12: A Candle Lit, a Flame Extinguished
October 29th: Raul Anguiano's Centennial VIP Reception 
Maria Guirado de Downey, 7th First Lady of California
Fort Moore gets a special visitor by Marilyn Mills
Chicano Moratorium Panel was Held October 20
L.A. River Habitat Restoration by Lucy Guanuna 
History of Olvera Street grapevines

The House of Aragon
by Michael S. Perez
Chapter 12:  A Candle Lit, a Flame Extinguished 

As the chapter will reveal, Anna's marriage was short lived. It began on a glorious morning and ended that tragic night with the killing of her husband, the murder her entire family, and the destruction of her family estate. Within a short period of time Anna went from an innocent to a broken, hardened, lost soul. Forced to flee for her life and escape Peron's Argentina, she made her way to America. There she would begin her new life. 
You can read the book in its fullness on your I-Pad at:
If you do not have an I-Pad, you can read the chapters from the Somos Primos homepage, we will be adding them with the chapter introductions. Go to http://somosprimos.com/michaelperez/michaelperez.htm   

Michael Brakefort-Grant is a Pen name for Michael S. Perez.  If you would like to contact Michael, please contact me.  714-894-8161 ~ Mimi


Raúl Anguiano’s Centennial VIP Reception held October 29th


East Los Angeles College and the ELAC Foundation invite you to a special event commemorating Mexico’s last great muralist. Internationally acclaimed speaker and Smithsonian scholar Gregorio Luke brings his famous Murals Under the Stars program to ELAC. He will project Raúl Anguiano’s murals on a giant screen as if you were seeing them in their original settings.

Anguiano’s work includes more than 100 exhibitions worldwide and more than 20 murals mostly in México and the United States. Gregorio Luke has presented more than 1,000 lectures in institutions such as the Library of Congress, the Florence Biennale and México’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. Light hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served.

For more information call Michelle Rodriguez
at (323) 265-8901 or email at rodrigmp@elac.edu
Guests will have a chance to win an Anguiano print and book!
When:  VIP Reception (By Invitation Only)
Thursday, Oct. 29  5:00 p.m.
Special Presentation  6:30 p.m.

Where: ELAC (Ingalls Auditorium)
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA 91754

Thank You to Our Sponsors
Community White Memorial Medical Center
COPE Health Solutions
Ernest Camacho, President of Pacifica Services, Inc.
PRN Ambulance
Dr. and Mrs. Richard and Rebecca Zapanta
Mr. and Mrs. Brad and Carolyn Howard
Dr. and Mrs. Michael and Julie Vega
ProAmerica Bank

 7th First Lady of California

Dear Cousin Jerry,
This week I have been researching my Tapia and Guirado cousins. Since you are a resident of Downey, CA, you may be interested in learning about our California early history. In my research, I discovered a great deal about our cousins and Early California and our Hispanic/Latino contributions to our great State of California. Do you know about the life of Maria Guirado de Downey? Read on and enjoy.

All best wishes, cousin Lorri Ruiz Frain

Maria De Jesus Jacinta Guirado de Downey was the 7th First Lady of California. In 1852, Maria married John Gately Downey, who served as Governor of California from 1860-1862. Governor Downey was born in Ireland (1827-1894) and became a successful businessman and banker in Los Angeles. He was also the founder of the City of Downey, California.

Maria de Jesus Jacinta Guirado was born on the 11th of September 1836, in Los Angeles, Alta California. She was baptized at the Placita, Iglesia de Nuestra Senora La Reina De Los Angeles, Maria Santissima De Porciuncula. Her father was Rafael Guirado, from Guaymas, Mexico, and her mother was Vicenta Urquidez. Don Rafael and Dona Vicenta settled in Los Nietos, Whittier, California, where they raised their several sons and daughters.

In January, 1883, John and Maria Downey visited San Francisco. On their return home to Los Angeles, their train (the Southern Pacific Railroad), went out of control along the Tehachapi Mountains and had a tragic accident. John Downey survived, but Maria was lost in the accident. John Downey never recovered from the loss of his beloved wife, Maria. He passed away in 1894 and is buried in Colma, San Mateo County, California. 

Sent by Lorraine Frain:  lorrilocks@gmail.com 

Fort Moore gets a special visitor by Marilyn Mills

Elder D. Todd Christofferson took a side trip to see the 45-foot tall and over 400-foot wide Mormon Battalion memorial in the heart of Los Angeles at 430 North Hill Street.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson stands at Mormon Battalion Memorial with Los Angeles County Arts Council Director of Civic Art Margaret Bruning, and manager, Clare Haggerty.

LOS ANGELES, CALIF: In the heart of Los Angeles, at 430 North Hill Street, sits the largest military monument in the country honoring U.S. Soldiers and pioneers, including the Mormon Battalion who built Fort Moore atop the spot and there, raised the first American flag in Los Angeles on the 4th of July 1847.

During a recent visit to the city on Oct. 16, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles took a side trip to the monument to see the 45-foot tall and over 400-foot wide memorial.

“It’s impressive,” he remarked. “I had no idea this was even here.”

The Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, dedicated in 1958, has been slated for restoration, including the 45-foot tall water fall that has been turned off since 1977. Elder Christofferson met with Los Angeles County Arts Council Director of Civic Art Margaret Bruning, and manager, Clare Haggerty, to discuss the details of the $4 million project. They informed Elder Christofferson that the monument will also be part of a larger plan after its restoration, to encourage visitors to see the local historical spots by way of paseos or walks connecting the sites.

Also present was Matt Ball, director of Public Affairs for the North America West Area, who has represented the Church in previous planning meetings with the City and County of Los Angeles.

Elder Christofferson is the third General Authority to visit the historical site in recent history. President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles made trips to inspect the site, part of which was funded by the Church and donated to the County.

While many members of the Church in the Los Angeles area may be unaware of the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial today, it was through a special “Stake Presidents’ Fort Moore Memorial Fund” that numerous members contributed to the original construction of the monument. Prominent Los Angeles city and county civic leaders were present at the 1958 dedication at which President Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency gave the dedicatory prayer and the Mormon Choir of Southern California sang “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

“I am pleased at the county’s willingness to restore this impressive site,” Elder Christofferson said. “This is an important history for Los Angeles and Church members to pass on to future generations.”

After visiting the monument, Elder Christofferson spoke at the annual dinner of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Los Angeles Chapter held at the California Club in Los Angeles. He received the chapter’s Distinguished Service Award. Also honored that evening were Joseph I. Bentley as 2015 Outstanding Lawyer and Heather Takahashi as 2015 Outstanding Young Lawyer. Brother Bentley currently serves as president of the Newport Beach Temple with his wife, Sister Marilyn Bentley, as temple matron. On Oct. 17-18, Elder Christofferson presided at the Huntington Beach California North Stake conference.


Sent by Marilyn Mills 
Area Church History Adviser North America West Area
For the Deseret News
Published: Thursday, Oct. 22 2015


Chicano Moratorium Panel Held October 20

Los Angeles Public Library and the Los Angeles Conservancy are co-sponsoring a free panel event regarding the 45th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium antiwar and social justice marches,

The Los Angeles Public Library and the Los Angeles Conservancy co-sponsored a free panel event regarding the 45th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium antiwar and social justice marches, along with a Conservancy project to protect and preserve sites related to this historic event. On August 29, 1970, activism and marches to protest the high proportion of Chicano soldiers dying in Vietnam came to a peak when more than 30,000 people marched and had a festive rally in East Los Angeles. The event was marred by police violence, which resulted in the deaths of march participants and injuries to many others. On that day, renown journalist Ruben Salazar was killed a couple of miles from the rally, reportedly by a Sheriff’s tear gas projectile. Salazar had been taking a break with his colleague when he was killed after covering the national Chicano Moratorium march and part of the rally. 

This free panel featured key figures and organizers of the Chicano Moratorium: Gloria Arellanes, Rosalio Muñoz, David Sanchez, and Professor Raul Ruiz as part of the Central Library’s Latino Heritage Month calendar. The event included an update on a Conservancy project that documents the historical context of the Chicano Moratorium and nominates five of its key sites to the National Register of Historic Places. It will be moderated by Dr. Richard E. Espinoza and will include multimedia clips filmed during the Chicano Moratorium marches. A historical photo exhibit outside of the library’s Mark Taper Auditorium was available to view before the event started  

When: Tuesday, October 20 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Where: Mark Taper Auditorium
Central Library, Los Angeles Public Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, 90071

For questions: 
Manuel A. Huerta
Community Outreach Coordinator 
Coordinador de Enlace Comunitario
Los Angeles Conservancy 

L.A. River Habitat Restoration: 
Where Will the Money Come From?

By Lucy Guanuna | July 17, 2015

Nearly a decade in the making, the City of Los Angeles' efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River hit a major turning point this week by getting the final plan for the city's river restoration approved by the Civil Works Review Board of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with long-standing river stakeholders from L.A., presented the recommended plan of Alternative 20, or RIVER Alternative (Riparian Integration via Varied Ecological Introduction), laid out in the $9.71-million Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study initiated in 2006. The $1.3-billion plan will restore an 11-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River from Griffith Park to Downtown Los Angeles and will remove about six miles of concrete that will provide 80 acres of wetlands restoration, parkland creation while maintaining existing levels of flood risk management.

"We have reached a massive milestone in this ten year process, although we still have a lot of ways to go before people can actually see any changes," said Vicki Curry, a spokesperson for Mayor Garcetti.

Although the project has made great strides, a year-long process to secure funding from Congress awaits. The recommended plan will now go through a process of state and agency review before reaching the Army Corps' Chief of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, for his recommendation, and to Assistant Secretary of the Army, Jo-Ellen Darcy, for administrative review before being submitted to Congress in early 2016. Once authorized by Congress, the funding will be appropriated through the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

When the city will break ground is still too soon to tell, but the first phase -- known as Reach 6 in the study -- will include the restoration of riparian habitat and widening of the river at Taylor Yard, and confluence restoration at the Arroyo Seco watershed. "The first phase of construction has the greatest potential for removal of concrete in the river," said Curry in an email.

"There's a lot of worry about the cost but it's not going to be a $1.3-billion check written at once," said Jay Field, spokesman for the Los Angeles office of the Corps of Engineers. The funding will come incrementally as the city works towards getting funding from a number of sources as the plan rolls out, including local and state avenues, Curry said.

Although WRDA funds will take at least a year to secure, once the CWRB has approved the plan, Congress can immediately allocate funds for the pre-construction engineering and design stage of the plan, which is estimated to cost approximately $85 million. "We want to have the plans in place and ready to go so we can get started immediately on construction," Curry said. "The mayor has spoken to members of Congress and Senators and federal agencies all along the way, so things will be lined up and ready to go."

One issue of debate has been the cost-share of the plan. This has moved Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) to launch a campaign to gain public support. "The campaign is to promote support among members of the community for the 50-50 split and to communicate that support to the Army Corps of Engineers during the state and agency review period," said Lewis MacAdams, president and founder of FoLAR.

The recommended plan offers two options -- it would have the city cost-sharing the project at 88% or 73%, possibly leaving the city to shoulder more than $1.18-billion of the cost. The 50-50 split was recommended by Darcy with the condition that the city would have to forgo reimbursement for any acquired real-estate relating to the project. It has also been suggested by Darcy that the federal funding could be brought to a more equitable cost share, details for which will continue to be refined during the review process.

As real-estate prices continue to climb in river-adjacent communities, the price for the parcels of land outlined in the project rise as well, making it the main factor for the increased cost of the plan. The Los Angeles Trailer and Container Intermodal Facility (LATC), also known as the Piggyback Yard -- a 125-acre Union Pacific yard and is the largest open space in the restoration plan -- has come at a big cost because it includes the relocation costs of Union Pacific's facilities in addition to the real estate costs. Taylor Yard is much easier because there's no relocating of facilities, said Field.

Curry and Field both said its too hard to tell how long it will take to complete the project -- it could perhaps take decades, Curry said.

L.A. River Habitat Restoration: Where Will the Money Come From?
About the Author: Lucy Guanuna, a freelance journalist, reports on a variety of issues including business, culture and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles.



Olvera Street grapevines

What to do with grapes from 150-year-old vines at Olvera Street? Make wine, of course.

Los Angeles City Archivist Mike Holland is surrounded by grapevines estimated to be around 150 years old, at Avila Adobe at El Pueblo de Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)  By S. Irene Virbila, Reporter, Dining and Drinking Wines

Next time you're in downtown Los Angeles at Olvera Street and the historic El Pueblo complex, look up. A grapevine seems to float across the top of vendors' stalls, its tendrils creeping this way and that, leaves healthy and green. The canopy covers almost 400 square feet, filling available space like kudzu. Follow its labyrinthine path over the roof of the Avila Adobe and back down into the newly restored Avila Adobe courtyard. There are actually three grapevines, two there, and one in front of a storefront down the street, each with massive roots that are more like tree trunks.

These are vines that are possibly older than California itself.

City Archivist Mike Holland, a home winemaker, has had his eye on the vines for a while, curious about their origin and how old they might be. He's an avid history buff and shares his obsession with his friend Wes Hagen, a third generation Angeleno and consulting winemaker for J. Wilkes Wines in Santa Maria Valley.

Last year Holland asked Hagen whom he could contact at UC Davis to get a DNA analysis done on the vines. He referred him to the Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis, which keeps a database of all plant material it analyzes. "When I told the lab manager Jerry Dangl that I wanted to get an analysis of three vines on Olvera Street at the old Pueblo site, he offered to do the analysis at no cost," says Holland. They sent him a kit. He cut the leaves as requested and sent the whole thing off to the lab.

The results, when they came back three weeks later, were stunning.  "The three vines are identical to one another and they match what has become known as'Viña Madre.' This is the famous 'old Mission grape of California' growing at the San Gabriel Mission. We know from our analysis of samples from San Gabriel that this variety is a first-generation hybrid between a native Southern California grape (Vitis girdiana) and the European grape (Vitis vinifera) variety 'Mission,'" Dangl wrote in an email. The latter was introduced by the Spanish missionaries in 1769.

Think about it. Since the Avila Adobe dates from 1818, the vines could possibly be 150 years old — or more.

"This is a vine that produced fruit in Los Angeles before wines were commercially made in California," says Hagen. "Before Napa. Before Sonoma. Before Monterey. Even before Santa Barbara. A vine that is older than the state of California itself. We're talking about the genesis of New World wine and a vine that represents a link to Junipero Serra, to the Mission era."

Olvera Street grapevines
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
The sun filters through a grapevine located at El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

Los Angeles City Archivist Mike Holland is harvesting some of these grapes with plans to turn them into wine.  Of course, it still hasn't been established exactly how old the vines actually are — or whether they were planted to make wine or to create a shady pergola. (The Mission grape is a particularly vigorous and leafy vine.) Because the genetic material is the same, we can assume that the vine cuttings originally came from Mission San Gabriel.

Over the last several weekends, with the permission of El Pueblo director Chris Espinosa, Holland has been picking the grapes in the early morning before anyone is around. His plan is to make some wine. By last week he'd harvested just 10 pounds of grapes and should pick up a few more on his last pass this weekend. It's not much — and means that at most, he'll be able to produce less than a case. "The rule of thumb is 18 pounds per gallon and I have barely a thumb's worth," says Holland.

After a gentle pruning earlier in the year and the removal of a tree that had been blocking some light, the vines looked healthier and this year produced more grapes than before. Because the Avila Adobe is a historic site, Holland can't do anything to damage the integrity of the specific area. That means no trellising, and he can't use nails or hammers. He can't even tie down the vine. He can only suggest the vine grow in a certain way by slightly shifting a shoot in one direction or another with his hands — but the vine has its own mind.

"What is there is there and I have to adapt to what the vines are doing. In a normal vineyard system, you have your trellis, your spacing, your canopy management," he explains. "Up there, it's literally a green carpet of leaves and tendrils with clusters here and there."

The only thing Holland did was to trim some leaves to give some clusters more light and air on his day off on Fridays. "It's really like a rooftop vineyard."

This first batch of wine will be a test run. He wanted to keep it small and simple. "I'll probably make it in my garage like I do my other wines," Holland says. But he's very curious to see what it will taste like. So is Hagen, who's standing by if Holland needs any advice. And also pestering him with questions via email about what style of wine he thinks he's going to make.

See the most-read stories in Life & Style this hour >>
Dry? Or something semi-sweet like the original communion wines? The Mission grape, which thrives in Southern California's warm weather, was used to make sweet sacramental wine and may not be suited to make a great table (dry) wine. That's yet another reason why wine production eventually moved north.

So far Holland is playing it close to his vest. He'll know by spring what he's got.

But for a twist of fate, says Hagen, who often gives talks on the history of wine, Southern California would have been the locus of commercial winemaking in California. In fact, the Frenchman Jean-Louis Vignes had a large-scale commercial winery as early as 1833 very close to the site of what is now Union Station. By the time California became a state in 1850, Los Angeles County had approximately 100 vineyards. And by 1860 was producing 162,980 gallons of wine, well over half of California's entire production of 246,518 gallons.

"Most people don't know that Los Angeles is the birthplace of commercial wine in the New World," says Hagen. "Two things drove grape production north: Anaheim disease (later known as Pierce's disease) which decimated vineyards in the Los Angeles basin in the 1880s, and the Gold Rush. Without those two factors, Los Angeles would have been the predominant wine-producing region throughout the 19th century and into the 20th."

That didn't happen. But we still have a little piece of history right here on Olvera Street to celebrate. And maybe, just maybe, we'll have some wine from a vine that goes back to the very beginning of California wine.

A timeline of wine in Los Angeles 

As wine historian Thomas Pinney, author of the massive "A History of Wine in America," has observed, "For most of the 19th century, if you said California wine, you meant Los Angeles wine." Here is a timeline for the divine drink in the City of Angels.

1771 Mission San Gabriel Arcángel is established by Father Junipero Serra, the fourth of the 21 Spanish missions in California.

1778 The first vine cuttings are brought to the Alta California missions from, most likely, Baja California, and planted at mission San Juan Capistrano.

1781 The new pueblo of Nuestra Señora de la Reina de Los Angeles on the bank of the Los Angeles River is founded by settlers from Sonora and Sinaloa who stopped at San Gabriel Mission and most likely brought vine cuttings from the mission with them.

1782 The first Alta California vintage is made at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Mid-1790s Sometime before 1799, José Maria Verdugo plants the first secular vineyard in all of California on his Rancho San Rafael north of the pueblo where downtown Glendale is today.

1818 The Avila Adobe is built by prominent ranchero Francisco José Avila, who was mayor of Los Angeles in 1810. It remains the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles.

1820s Mission San Gabriel's vineyards, of 147,000 to 163,000 vines, are the most extensive of all the missions up and down California.

1833 Frenchman Jean-Louis Vignes establishes his winery El Aliso on the site of what is now Union Station. He plants Mission grapevines, but also sends to Bordeaux for cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc in an attempt to supersede the dominant Mission grapes. At about the same time, William Wolfskill establishes a vineyard at Alameda and 3rd Street.

1840s Antonio Pelanconi, an Italian immigrant, starts the first winery on Olvera Street (originally called Calle de los Vignes or Vine Street and renamed in 1877). The Pelanconi house is the original winery building. Several other wineries were located within and near El Pueblo. What is now La Golondrina restaurant and El Paseo across the street were both once wineries.

1848 Los Angeles winemakers begin shipping wines north to thirsty miners in the Gold Rush. But the demand from all the immigrants pouring into Northern California eventually means wine production moves north to the Sierra foothills and Napa and Sonoma.

1850 California becomes the 31st state in the union. Los Angeles County has approximately 100 vineyards and wineries, 85 in the pueblo alone. In the same period, Northern California had a couple in Napa, two in Sonoma and a handful in the Santa Clara Valley around San Jose.

1857 The demand for wines from Los Angeles is so high that vintners look for property elsewhere and establish huge plantings in Anaheim. Within 10 years, there are 47 wineries. By 1883, the total vineyard acreage in the Santa Ana River valley is estimated at 10,000.

1858 Hungarian-born Agoston Haraszthy of Buena Vista winery in Sonoma writes a "Report on Grapes and Wine in California." In it, he decries the dominance of the Mission grape and recommends blending. Haraszthy had imported and was growing 165 varieties of grapes at his Sonoma estate.

1860 Wine production census shows a total of 246,518 gallons of wine produced in California, with Los Angeles producing 162,980 gallons of that, or well over half.

1870 Los Angeles is producing 531,710 gallons of wine a year, making it effectively the center of wine in California.

1882 Anaheim disease (later renamed Pierce's disease), is discovered in Anaheim and within a few years the insect-borne bacterial infection decimates vineyards in the Los Angeles basin. The blighted vineyards are later replanted with citrus groves.

1917 Italian immigrant Santo Cambianica puts an old railroad boxcar on a tiny lot on Lamar Street and paints "San Antonio Winery" on its side. That's the beginning of the downtown Los Angeles winery that's still in operation today.

1920 Prohibition is voted in, dealing California wineries a decisive blow. San Antonio Winery survived because founder Santo Cambianica had contracted with the Catholic Church to produce sacramental wine. During Prohibition, his output actually increased.

1930 Olvera Street opens to the public as a Mexican Marketplace. It now receives over 2 million visitors a year.

To read more about the fascinating (and complicated) history of wine in our town, see the book "Los Angeles Wine: A History From the Mission Era to the Present (The History Press, 2014)" by Stuart Douglass Byles. Much of the timeline information is distilled from information from this book and from email exchanges with its author. Also see the two volume "A History of Wine in America" by Thomas Pinney.

Sent by Win Holtzman


Nov 4 and Nov 10: Paul Espinosa Film Series
Nov 9: Spain, Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War
Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo
Fernando Javier de Rivera y Moncada
The Californios: In the Face of Conquest 
Garcia-Romero Family Outing
Return to Delano: 50th Anniversary of Delano Grape Strike by Maria E. Garcia Del Día de la Raza y el mes de la Hispanidad, San Diego
The Plan de Santa Bárbara and the take-over of Chicano Park, San Diego 
Blue Shadows by Mike Acosta and Others' Childhood Memories Traveling
       through the Southwest, between 1940-1970s

================================ ================================

Paul Espinosa Film Series,
Celebrating Award-Winning Filmmaker Paul Espinosa

The award-winning independent filmamaker is renowned for is documentary and dramatic films focused on the U.S. -Mexican border region, immigration, and cross-cutural issues.  His films include The Lemon Grove Incident, The U.S.-Mexican War, . . . and the earth did not swallow him, and Uneasy Neighbors.  Paul wivll attend all events - which are free and open to the public - and will participate in Q &A after the film screenings.

Nov 4: Hunt for Pancho Villa Screening  7-9 pm, Digital Gym, North Park
Nov 10:  and the earth did not swallow him Film  Screening 7-9 pm, Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park

For more information:  library.ucsd.edu/blogs/blog/espinoza     

Paul Espinosa, Ph.D.  
Espinosa Productions

4452 Park Blvd, Suite 214  

San Diego, CA 92116

 Professor Emeritus and Filmmaker  
Arizona State University  
School of Transborder Studies
P.O. Box 876303 |  Tempe, AZ  85287-6303  

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.  


================================ ================================

Dear friends,

The 9th of November at 6:00 pm at the Assembly Hall in Point Loma we are offering a presentation by the United States author Judge Ed Butler of his book "Spain, Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War."

When the Spanish King Felipe VI was a Prince of Asturias Judge Ed Butler had the honor to meet him.  During the reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid the Prince said to Butler,  "I want you to write a book about Spain's involvement during the American Revolutionary War; then I want you to write a screenplay; and have a movie made.  I want Antonio Banderas to play the part of Galvez." 

Judge Butler finished the book and he will be giving a presentation of it in San Diego.

Attach is an invitation with all the information.  Please come to hear the history that unites the United States and Spain.   Best regards, Maria Angeles

Queridos amigos,

El día nueve de noviembre a las seis de la tarde en el Assembly Hall en Point Loma ofrecemos una presentación por el escritor estadounidense Judge Ed Butler de su libro "Spain, Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War."

Siendo nuestro Rey Felipe VI, Príncipe de Asturias, Judge Butler tuvo el honor de conocerlo. Durante la entrevista el Príncipe le dijo que escribiese un libro sobre Bernardo de Gálvez.  Éste es el libro cuya presentación hará el Juez Ed Butler en San Diego.

Adjunto encontraréis una invitación con la información más detallada.  No dejéis de asistir, conozcamos la historia que nos une a  España y Estados Unidos.

Un cordial saludo, María Ángeles
María Ángeles O'Donnell de Olson

Cónsul Honorario de España en San Diego
Teléfono: 1-619-448-7282


Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.  

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo born 1499, died January 3, 1543) was a navigator and explorer, known for exploring the West Coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire. Cabrillo was the first European explorer to navigate the coast of present-day California in the United States.

Cabrillo shipped for Havana as a young man and joined forces with Hernán  Cortés in 
Mexico (then called New Spain). Later, his success in mining gold in Guatemala made him one of the richest of the 
adelantados in Mexico.[9] According to his biographer Harry Kelsey, he took an indigenous woman as his common-law wife and sired several children, including at least three daughters.[9] Later he married Beatriz Sanchez de Ortega in Seville during a hiatus in Spain. She returned to Guatemala with him and bore him two sons.[10]                        Source: Wikipedia

, (Spanish: “one who goes before”), representative of the kings of Castile (Spain) who in the early European Middle Ages headed military expeditions and, from the reign of Ferdinand III (1217–52) until the 16th century, held judicial and administrative powers over specific districts. Greater adelantados (adelantados mayores) served as appeal judges and in times of war were responsible for organizing their territories’ armies. Lesser adelantados (adelantados menores) held similar powers, but they were often stationed along the frontiers, becoming known as frontier adelantados (adelantados fronterizos), and figured prominently in the military colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century the office was replaced by that of alcalde(magistrate).     

Fernando Javier de Rivera y Moncada

Dr. C.A. Campos y Escalante suggested that all Californian should be acquainted with the historic role that Fernando Javier de Rivera y Moncada played in early California. Below is a brief Wikipedia bio on Fernando Javier de Rivera y Moncada

Rivera was born near Compostela, New Spain (Mexico). He entered military service in 1742, serving harmoniously under Jesuit direction in Baja California. In 1750 he was promoted to command of the presidio at Loreto. He participated in the important reconnaissance's of the northern peninsula together with the Jesuit missionary explorers Ferdinand Konšcak and Wenceslaus Linck. 

Rivera's situation changed in 1768 when the Jesuits were expelled and replaced in Baja California by the Franciscans and by the civil authorities of New Spain. The latter ordered a bold move northward to colonize Alta California.

First overland expedition:  In 1769, Rivera led the first overland party, which founded the settlement of San Diego in upper Las Californias Province, together with Juan Crespí and José Cañizares, traveling in advance of the party led by Gaspar de Portolá and Junípero Serra.[4]

After the several land and sea groups assembled again at San Diego, Rivera continued north with Portolá to Monterey. Rivera retired to the Mexican mainland around 1772, but he was soon recalled to service.

Serra and the Franciscans had quarreled with California's military governor, Pedro Fages, and Rivera took over as Fages' replacement in 1774. The results were not happy. Rivera himself was soon in conflict with Serra and the Franciscans and with Juan Bautista de Anza. Rivera opposed the settlement of Yerba Buena (present day San Francisco). When several Kumeyaay Indian communities joined together to sack the mission at San Diego in 1775, Rivera had the responsibility of suppressing the revolt. For forcibly removing one of the rebels from a temporary church building at the mission, Rivera was excommunicated by the Franciscans.

Captain Fernando Rivera y Moncada violated ecclesiastical asylum at Mission San Diego de Alcalá on March 26, 1776 when he forcibly removed a neophyte in direct defiance of the padres. Missionary Father Pedro Font later described the scene: "...Rivera entered the chapel with drawn sword...con la espada desnuda en la mano." Rivera y Moncada was summarily excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church for his actions.[3]

Following his tenure as governor, in 1777 Rivera was reassigned as military commander at Loreto. His final posting was centered on assisting settlers as they made their way overland to Alta California. Rivera was killed along with the local missionaries including Francisco Garcés, settlers, and travelers at Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer on the lower Colorado River during the civil resistance uprising and revolt of the Quechan Indians in 1781.   ~
Wikipedia bio.


Carlos sent the information below  He writes "La bibliografía Anglo trata de desprestigiar sus méritos." and "​No dejeis que su nombre se pierda en el olvido histórico."​  
Seguramente muy pocas personas sabrán quien fue Fernando Javier de Rivera y Moncada, y además que tiene que ver con el bicentenario. Aunque muy desconocido hoy, Rivera y Moncada es uno de los personajes clave de nuestra historia regional. Junto con los misioneros jesuitas fue uno de los constructores de la Baja California moderna. Hago una reseña de su vida con motivo del 229 aniversario de su muerte, ocurrida el 
18 de julio de 1781. Al igual que los misioneros, Rivera y Moncada entrego su vida al servicio de nuestra tierra, cuando esta aun estaba en construcción, y fue de los soñadores que creyó en su futuro. Junto con los misioneros Kino, Píccolo, Ugarte, Guillén, Consag y Linck, Rivera y Moncada fue uno de los que mayormente exploró nuestra península. Sin embargo, la mayor parte de sus exploraciones las realizó bajo las órdenes de los misioneros, razón por la cual no se le ha dado el crédito debido. Pero ciertamente Rivera y Moncada tiene sus propios y muy importantes méritos.

Rivera y Moncada nació en Compostela, Nayarit, hacia el año de 1725. Muy joven ingresó a la milicia y en el año de 1742 pasó a prestar servicio a Baja California, bajo las órdenes de los jesuitas. Muy pronto ascendió a Capitán, y en 1750 se le nombró Comandante militar de Baja California, cuya residencia estaba en Loreto, en ese entonces capital de la península. Conservó este mando hasta el año de 1767, en que con la expulsión de los jesuitas se nombró a Gaspar de Portolá Gobernador de la península.

Rivera y Moncada mantuvo una gran cercanía con los jesuitas y dio un importante apoyo a las expediciones de los padres Fernando Consag y Wenceslao Linck, gracias a las cuales se pudo superar el desierto central y establecer las primeras misiones en el hoy Estado de Baja California. Acompañó personalmente al padre Consag en sus dos más famosas expediciones, la de 1751 y la de 1753, en las que se registró buena parte del interior del norte peninsular. Igualmente participó en las fundaciones de las misiones de Santa Gertrudis, San Borja y Santa María de los Ángeles.

También apoyó grandemente la importante expedición del padre Wenceslao Linck, la última de los jesuitas, realizada en 1766, la que descubriera Velicatá, hiciera la primera entrada a la Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, y alcanzara por tierra el Desierto de San Felipe y su bahía.

En 1769 realizó una de las más importantes exploraciones que se llevaron a cabo en la península. Para entonces los jesuitas ya habían sido expulsados, siendo sustituidos por misioneros franciscanos bajo el mando de Fray Junípero Serra. Igualmente con ese cambio se quitó a los misioneros el mando de los soldados y este quedó sujeto al gobernador, quien lo era tanto en lo civil como en lo militar.

En el citado año de 1769 Rivera y Moncada abrió la ruta terrestre entre Velicatá y San Diego, ya que la Corona Española quería expandirse hasta la Alta California ante la amenaza de la presencia de los rusos. Fue así que nuestro personaje se convirtió en el primer no indígena en explorar el interior del noroeste de nuestro actual Estado de Baja California. Anteriormente solo había sido explorada la costa por los primeros navegantes de los siglos XVI y XVII.

En esta entrada Rivera y Moncada descubre el Valle de San Telmo, el de San Rafael, el de Colonet, el de San Vicente, el de Santo Tomás, el de La Grulla (Ejido Uruapan), el de Santa Rosa, el de La Misión, el de Rosarito y el de Tijuana, entre otros. Igualmente fue el primero en alcanzar por tierra la Ensenada de Todos Santos, donde actualmente se encuentra nuestra bella ciudad de Ensenada. Lo mismo hizo para la bahía de San Diego, California. En pocas palabras, Rivera y Moncada abrió el primer camino que uniera a ambas Californias, la Alta y la Baja, o como antes se decía, la Nueva y la Antigua. Su recorrido fue memorable, y gracias a él el padre Junípero Serra pudo fundar la misión de San Diego, California (la actual ciudad de San Diego), dando inicio al moderno Estado de California, Estados Unidos. Es decir, Riviera y Moncada es de los fundadores de dicho Estado. Al año siguiente, en 1770, Rivera y Moncada efectuó nuevas exploraciones y buscó una mejor ruta entre las dos Californias. Fue así que descubrió el Valle de Santo Domingo, el Valle de San Quintín y el arroyo de El Rosario. Rivera y Moncada también fue un destacado explorador de la Alta California. En 1774 fue nombrado Gobernador de las Californias, y en 1777 nuevamente comandante militar en Baja California, en donde estuvo hasta 1780.

Rivera y Moncada fue muerto el 18 de julio de 1781 durante la revuelta de los Yumas, en el Río Colorado, muy cerca de las misiones franciscanas de San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer, las que fueron destruidas en este levantamiento. En ese momento Rivera y Moncada apoyaba en llevar colonos a la Alta California desde Sonora, para lo cual se buscaba consolidar la ruta por el desierto del Río Colorado. Tenía 56 o 57 años de edad y 39 de prestar servicio a las Californias, especialmente a nuestra península.

Con las celebraciones del Bicentenario, creo sería que sería de justicia reconocer a los personajes que forjaron nuestra tierra, ya que fue gracias a ellos que tenemos a nuestra Baja California mexicana
así como la fundación de ciudades en la Alta California. 

​Como siempre participando en todos los debates históricos.​


The Californios: In the Face of Conquest 


Andrés Pico, Californio governor and military commander
Captain Andrés Pico’s men were ready on the morning of December 6, 1848. Hours before, one of his patrols had spotted scouts sent by the opposing General Stephen W. Kearny, whose Army of the West had just marched 2,000 miles across desert and mountains to ensure the conquest of the Mexican province of Alta California, which today includes all of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, plus parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

Born in the town of San Diego, General Pico was a proud Californio. In fact he came from a prominent Californio family. His father José María had been of African, indigenous and Spanish descent, and had come to San Diego as a child during the early days of Spanish settlement. 

Big brother Pío had twice been governor of Alta California, the last time coinciding with start of the U.S. California Campaign. Living on the frontier of first the Spanish Empire and then a new Mexican republic, the Californios had developed a taste for autonomy and chafed against any form of outside rule.

But by August 1846, just as word arrived from the east that the United States had declared war on Mexico, U.S. troops controlled the northern half of Alta California. Whereas American settlers had once been welcomed in the province, even offered land grants if they underwent the facile naturalization process, in 1845 the Mexican government began threatening the American newcomers with disenfranchisement and even expulsion. Encouraged by Captain John C. Frémont, who arrived near present-day San Francisco in early 1846 (and would later become the first presidential candidate of a newly founded Republican Party), the settlers gradually made their resentments known.

On June 14, a band of over 30 Americans took control of the largely undefended town of Sonoma, making the barracks their headquarters where they raised the Bear Flag and declared an independent Californian republic. A few weeks later Captain Frémont was made commander of the Bear forces, and less than a week after that the U.S. Marines took effective control of the area, putting an end to the short-lived revolt.

After U.S. troops seized the Alta California capital at Monterrey, Governor Pío Pico and his military commander moved the capital to Los Angeles. But when they heard that the conquering army was marching on their position, the two men fled to Mexico, leaving José María Flores in charge of the resistance as both governor and comandante general. It was under Flores’s leadership that the Californio forces handed the U.S. Marines one of their very first defeats at the Battle of Rancho Domínguez in October 1846. It was also Flores who sent Captain Andrés Pico to stop General Kearny’s advancing troops.

The two sides met in San Pasqual Valley. Tired from their 2,000-mile trek, their uniforms and weapons drenched from the rain that fell the night before, the U.S. calvary was no match for Pico’s lancers, who knew the terrain and could ride a horse better than anyone. For half an hour the Californios outflanked and outmaneuvered the Americans, resulting in heavy losses. Still, to this day historians debate whether Pico or Kearny won the contest. Many more American troops were left dead or wounded, though Kearny described it as a pyrrhic victory since Pico’s lancers ultimately withdrew.

In the end, the Battle of San Pasqual would be the Californios’ last great stand against the American conquest. After two defeats in January, General Flores also fled to Mexico, leaving Andrés Pico in charge. A few days later, wanting to put an end to the bloodshed, the now Governor Pico secretly met with the now Lieutenant Colonel Frémont and agreed to a surrender. The Treaty of Cahuenga allowed Californios to return to their normal lives under the promise that they would enjoy the same rights as U.S. citizens, a promise ratified by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican-American War a year later and ceded half of Mexico to the United States.

Both Pico brothers reluctantly became U.S. citizens, and while the older Pico refused to join the early Los Angeles city council when he was elected under the newly formed California state government in 1853, Andrés would serve as first a state assemblyman and then a state senator between 1851 and 1876. In 1864 his substantial landholdings were seized by the federal government, which had begun to reject the original right of ownership of many Californios. He died poor, as his brother Pío later would.

Source: http://www.latinorebels.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Andres-pico.jpg


Garcia-Romero Family Outing

 Pacoima ~1950

 According to Geraldine Romero Perez (whose mother, Mary Louise Garcia Romero, at left, is pregnant with her), the family is en route to baptize Geraldine's sister Ernestine, who is in the arms of her godfather, Ted C. Garcia, at right. Ted's wife Ruby, standing next to him, is Ernestine's godmother.

Back/top row, from left: Mary Louise Garcia (Romero), Harold E. "Sonny" Romero (leaning over trunk), Ruby (Garcia), Ted C. Garcia, Ernestine Louise Romero (infant).

Front row, from left: Eleanor Marie Romero, Hearaldine Romero, Augustus Romero, Frances Garcia (later Hruska). 

Mary Louise Garcia Romero (Feb. 16, 1928 - May 12, 1999) is a daughter of Chief Mary Cooke Garcia (1901-1975) and Louis Garcia (1885-1973). Harold E. Romero is Mary Louise's husband. Augustus Romero is Harold's father.

Ted C. Garcia (b. 7-10-1920) is a son of Chief Mary Cooke Garcia (1901-1975) and Louis Garcia (1885-1973). Ruby is Ted's wife. Frances Garcia is their eldest child.

Ernestine Louise Romero (Oct. 23, 1949 - Dec. 4, 2009), Eleanor Marie Romero (March 14, 1946 - Feb. 28, 2009) and Hearaldine Romero (b. 1947) are children of Mary Louise Garcia Romero (1928-1999) and Harold E. Romero.

Also, Ruby and Harold Romero are cousins; two cousins married a brother and sister (Ted C. Garcia and Mary Louise Garcia). 
Mary Louise Garcia (Romero) and her descendants, and Ted C. Garcia and his descendants, have ancestors who lived in the Santa Clarita Valley prior to European contact in 1769.

Sent by Lorraine Frain  

Return to Delano: the 50th Anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike

by Maria E. Garcia   
October 1, 2015

delano 40 acres

A few weeks ago, when the United Farm Workers (UFW) posted that there would be a celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike, I posted a simple sentence on Facebook:” San Diego is anybody going?” 

Within a few minutes my friend Gloria Serrano-Medina responded with a simple “vamos” and with that one word a decision to be part of that celebration was made.

This would not be my first trip to the Forty Acres, the parcel of land in Delano, California that in 1966 became the headquarters for the United Farm Workers of America, the first permanent agricultural labor union in the United States.

The long hot road to Delano, 1969: Carlos LeGerrette drives the bus, the Tortilla Priest… and an encounter with Cesar Chavez

Our bus to Delano
Our bus to Delano

In September of 1969, when I was a San Diego State college student, I had the opportunity to go to Delano for the dedication of the Reuther building, in honor of UAW labor leader Roy L. Reuther.

The trip itself was an adventure. We left the Cardine Center on a very old WWII bus donated to the MAAC Center by the Marines.  It seems that old military buses were being donated to non-profit agencies at that time. Leaving San Diego and traveling to a place I had never been was exciting in itself. Going to the place where the grape strike began was invigorating, exciting, scary and emotional.

Many of my friends from school were driving to Delano for the weekend but my mother’s birthday was that Sunday and I had to be back in San Diego, thus the decision to travel on that very old bus instead of riding with friends. Our trip was a long one not because of the distance to Delano but because the bus kept overheating and we had to stop over and over again and wait for the bus to cool enough to continue our trip.


delano ufw symbol At the 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday, September 26,  I learned for the first time that the bus driver was Carlos LeGerrette! I have told the story of that bus trip several times but did not remember that he was the driver. Standing at the Forty Acres with Carlos, Linda, Gloria and a group of students from Oakland the story was retold and that was when Carlos said he was the bus driver.

Those of you who know Carlos are familiar with what I will refer to as his gift of gab. I recognize that others have another term for it. Carlos had talked his way into “obtaining” the bus which upon our return he would then deliver to the MAAC Center.

When we finally arrived at the Forty Acres in 1969, we were able to attend the dedication of the Reuther building. We listened and watched as the Teatro Campasino, which was founded in 1965 on the Delano Grape Strike picket lines, performed. We listened to many speeches.

I had two first experiences on that trip.  During the blessing of the building, a very non-traditional communion was celebrated with wafers made from tortillas. Father Victor Salandini was one of the officiating priests.  He would became known as the Tortilla Priest.

I also met Cesar Chavez. I remember thinking that Cesar was such a quiet person. Because of his leadership role, I thought he would be louder and more boisterous. In my very short conversation with him I found a modest, quiet man. I remember telling him that my mother was also born in Yuma and thanked him for all he did for us.

Last weekends’ trip would be different. Instead of a rickety non air-conditioned bus, we would drive up in the comfort of an SUV.

Maria and Gloria
                                               Maria and Gloria

There was a small problem. We weren’t exactly sure the best way to get drive to Delano, however a friend told me I-5 to the 99 and follow the signs. I have a Tomme (GPS) but I like using it as a way to confirm that I am going in the right direction. The trip was uneventful as we drove along reading the names of places we had read about in books about La Huelga. Names like McFarland, where a cancer cluster linked to pesticide use emerged among children in that agricultural community, leading  Chavez to declare a third grape boycott in 1984.

After reaching our hotel and being directed to “the best place to eat in Delano” we were off to explore. As it turns out the best place was really not even average but the server did share directions to the Forty Acres. Gloria and I kept sharing stories from picket lines and other Chicano movement stories. That evening Gloria checked the UFW web site and we learned that the first 1000 checking in would receive a gift bag. That cinched it for us. We were determined to be one of the first 1000.

Unknown to us the hotel was located less than 5 miles from the Forty Acres and we arrived there within a few minutes. The event was very well organized with volunteers directing us to parking, and with water, coffee and pan dulce available for everyone. There was a large white tent with hundreds of chairs, some booths with items to purchase or with information about such topics as health care. We signed in, picked up our gift bag and went off to find our seats. Gloria picked up coffee and we waited for the program to begin.

The atmosphere was festive, exciting and there was a very special warmth among the many guests. I carried a poster with the photo of the old bus from the 1969 trip and several people asked if they could take picture of it and of course I said yes. Sharing old memories and struggles was certainly part of the interaction among the many guests.

To our pleasure and surprise the program started within minutes of the ten o’clock starting time. Among the first to enter the room were Mrs. Helen Chavez, Cesar’s widow, Kris Kristofferson, the singer, Dolores Huerta, cofounder of the UFW and Robert Kennedy Jr. Kris Kristofferson has been a longtime supporter of the farm workers. In 2012 he donated five concerts to advance the work of UFW. One of the concerts which I had the pleasure of attending was held in San Diego with the remaining four concerts being performed throughout California. 

Danny Valdez
Danny Valdez
There were many speakers which could have eventually become boring, but on the contrary it was rewarding to hear about past struggles and the new accomplishments and gains. Danny Valdez was there representing the Treatro Campasino and provided musical entertainment through-out the program.

The first speaker was Paul Chavez, Cesar’s son and himself a “keeper of the keys.” Paul quoted his father saying his father believed ordinary people could do extraordinary things. Two members of the California Assembly spoke– Rob Bonta, and Rudy Salas. Mr. Salas represents the lower Central Valley and is a supporter of social justice and public service.

The other Assembly speaker was Rob Bonta, the first Filipino American to be elected to the State legislature in the history of California. Mr. Bonta grew up in a trailer near the Cesar Chavez home. He witnessed firsthand the importance of collaboration between Filipino and Mexican American workers. He recently introduced a bill that the contributions of Filipino Americans be included when teaching California history.

Dolores Huerta was next on the program. Anyone who has ever heard Dolores speak knows how articulate and dynamic she can be. As the cofounder of the UFW she stood side by side with Cesar at meetings, negotiations, and every aspect of the farm workers movement. In 1988 while at a peaceful protest of then candidate George Bush she was severely beaten by a San Francisco Police Officer. She sued and won her case. She had to take a leave from the UFW to recuperate from her many injuries. After her recovery she spent a couple of years focusing on women’s issues.

At this weekend’s event she took time to talk about the indignities women faced while working in the fields. I had always thought of not having a toilet available as “embarrassing.” However, listening to Dolores speak I realized she was right, it was an indignity. Dolores is not only the voice for the farm workers but the voice for women everywhere. She is a women of great dignity. If you are not aware of Dolores’ role and contributions I urge you to take time and read about her.

Cesar Chavez breakfast 2015 - John Armington with Adriana and Eligh Segovia
Cesar Chavez breakfast 2015 – John Armington with Adriana and Eligh Segovia

Judge John Armington spoke about how he grew up watching every aspect of the union activities. He remembers the owners turning off the gas, lights and water hoping to force the farm workers to return to the field. His father, Mariano Armington, was the president of the Filipino Community of Delano. It was Mariano who made the motion to call for a strike by the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee on September 8, 1965 against the grape growers. Within two weeks they were joined by the National Farm Workers Association and the UFW was born.

John grew up in Delano and spoke with great pride of the accomplishments of many of the sons and daughters of the farm workers. He shared the names of students that attended various colleges including Yale, Stanford and Harvard. John himself received a BA from the UCSD and a Masters from USC. In 1989 John received his American Jurisprudence award for legal research and appellate brief writing from Western State University.

After his speech I went over to talk to him for a few minutes and to thank him for the kindness he had shown my niece and nephew when he spoke at the Cesar Chavez breakfast a few months ago. As we spoke he told me he was writing a book that will include the stories of the accomplishments of those young people who grew up in Delano. This book will no doubt help us better understand many of the events that took place in Delano as well as the successes that came from the second generation group of young people.

Arturo Rodriguez is the President of the United Farm Workers of America. Arturo was born in San Antonio Texas, the son of a school teacher and sheet metal worker. He attended and graduated from La Salle High school in 1967. In 1971 he graduated from St Mary’s University. He learned about Cesar Chavez from a priest who had been to a march in the Rio Grande Valley. As a college student he became active in the grape boycott.

Arturo Rodriguez, Dolores Huerta, Paul Chavez
Arturo Rodriguez, Dolores Huerta, Paul Chavez

While working on his Master degree at the University of Michigan he organized support for the farm workers’ boycott. He first met Cesar in 1973. He worked at various positions within the UFW organization. In 1974 he married Linda Chavez, Cesar’s daughter. At this celebration Mr. Rodriquez spoke of the accomplishments that have been made by the UFW. The union has the highest paid tomato workers of any place in the country.

There are now many UFW members with full medical coverage and in some cases dental and vision benefits. The Robert Kennedy medical plan has become a regular part of their daily lives. The union  offers life insurance to its members as well as discounts for many other services.

delano medical plan

There are more effective, timely and consistent inspections of farms to enforce heat standards. They serve as a watchdog protecting members from physical abuse, or loss of wages abuse. The union has even worked to protect non-union members in their quest to improve the life of the farm worker.  The UFW has worked with the White House to support the President’s order to protect immigration reform.

Robert Kennedy Junior represented his mother as well as his other family members. The Kennedy family has supported the UFW since the 1960s. Robert explained to the crowd that Mrs. Ethel Kennedy said that even under far different circumstances Robert Kennedy senior and Cesar would have been friends for the following reasons: Both men were small in physical stature; they were both devoted Catholics; and they both had a lot of children.

delano fast for life It was Cesar that Robert Kennedy first whispered to that he planned to run for president. According to Robert Jr. he had not shared this plan with his family. None of us will ever forget the horror the terrible night in Los Angeles when Kennedy was shot. Dolores Huerta was standing on the stage although not close enough to be injured but close enough to see everything that happened to her friend and supporter Robert Kennedy. Cesar was scheduled to be there but because he was so tired and was still weak from his fast he had gone home to rest.

At this point the names of striking workers, marchers, boycotters and full time staff members from1965-1970 were introduced. Unfortunately this part of the program was rather long and people seemed to lose interest. All of these folks not only deserve our attention but our gratitude for the many scarifies they made in those early years. A little known fact is that 95% of the strikers lost their car or their home in the early years of the strike.

Gloria, Robert kennedy, Jr, Maria
Gloria, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Maria

Discouraged by the very long food line, Gloria and I made the decision not to eat lunch at the celebration. We decided to look for old friends. We soon ran into Natalie, Carlos and Linda Le Gerrettes’ granddaughter who was also looking for her grandparents. 

We continued to explore and ran into Robert Kennedy Jr. patiently posing with everyone for pictures. Not to be left out Gloria and I followed the example of others and asked to pose with him for a picture.

We soon found Linda and Carlos. Linda introduced us to a group of students from the Oakland who have been involved in research at  the Forty Acres. I shared my old bus poster with the students and that was when Carlos shared his bus story.

Huelga Gas Station Cesar's 1st fast
Huelga Gas Station Cesar’s 1st fast

The place of Cesar Chavez’ first fast.

Gloria and I walked over to what had once been Huelga gas station, the first building constructed at the Forty Acres.  It is now a museum. The walls are hung with pictures and posters. The room where Cesar spent his first fast is located here. There is a cross on the wall, a bed and a water pitcher. 

Like Cesar the room is very modest and yet you could imagine the history that was made in that building. We both agreed we were honored to have had the opportunity to be there and see everything. (Picture of the Bed where Cesar slept and of the garage from the front of the building) # 1499,1500 and 1501

From there we drove the short distance to the Paolo Agbayani Village. Agbayani Village was a retirement community that had been named after a Filipino union member who had a heart attack and died on the picket line. Today this village is a historical landmark and a museum. Its original purpose was to provide a home for those men who worked  in the fields and supported the strike. Gloria and I had the privilege of being the only two visitors at that moment. Our tour guide walked from room to room explaining many of the things we were viewing.

Agbayani Village Community Kitchen
Agbayani Village Community Kitchen

The Village has a community kitchen, dining room and a garden. The private rooms are separated by a bathroom and there was a total of 59 units. This is also where Cesar spent his time when he decided to once again fast in the summer of 1988.

This fast was not to protest for better salaries but to protest the use of the deadly pesticides. Cesar had a very strong belief that we had not done enough to protect the workers or children from the effects of pesticides.

Cesar's last fast
Cesar’s last fast

He believed a fast would serve to focus on the dangerous of pesticides. Paul Chavez received a phone call from his mother telling him that his father was starting another fast. Once again his body would endure the abuse of a prolonged fasted.

We left the Agbayani Village and decided that Bakersfield would be our lunch/dinner stop. As we exited into Bakersfield we spotted a Sizzler and decide that would be our choice for dinner. We were just about done with our food when Gloria realized she did not have her cell phone. She walked out to the car to look for and returned within minutes. She explained that Helen Chavez and her daughter were also there having dinner. We walked over and asked for permission to take a picture with them. They were very kind and said yes. We exchanged pleasantries and thanked them for sharing Cesar with the public.

Helen Huerta's daughter, Maria Garcia, Helen Huerta, Gloria Serrano-Medina
Helen Huerta’s daughter, Maria Garcia, Helen Huerta, Gloria Serrano-Medina

Our drive home was filled with beautiful memories of our very special day. The word incredible is often over used. Gloria and I agree that this weekend’s celebration was indeed incredible. The Forty Acres and the celebration was beyond any of our expectation. This experience will live in our hearts and memories for the rest of our lives.

There is a fitting post script to the celebration.  On September 29, 2015 new EPA rules finally afforded farm workers nearly all of the same pesticide protections enjoyed by other US workers.

Maria Garcia is a retired school principal and has been an activist in the Chicano movement since 1968. She is the recipient of the 2015 SOHO Cultural Heritage Award for her Neighborhood House series and was designated as one of six Women of the Year (2015) by State Senator Ben Hueso for her historical preservation of life in Logan Heights.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  

Del Día de la Raza y el mes de la Hispanidad 


Durantee la ñode celebración del centenario de Balboa Park, la Casa de España prepara sus tradicionales festejos del Día de la Raza y el mes de la Hispanidad con múltiples actividades culturales e históricas.“Cada año el segundo fin de semana de octubre, nuestra Casita abre sus puertas y lleva a cabo un programa de bailes y música para mostrar nuestra historia, tradiciones y cultura conmemorando el 12 deoctubre”,declaró Jesús Benayas, presidente de la casa de España. Este año, además de la tradicional venta de paella,y grupos de música y danza flamenca, la Casa de España contará con talleres sobre la historia de los hispanos en Estados Unidos.

“Ahora que la gente tiene rechazo contra los hispanos es cuando debemos recordar algunas de las aportaciones que dio España y las colonias de la Nueva España, algo que ningún libro de historia americana cuenta, y nosotros tenemos que recordárselos”, agregó. 

De acuerdo conBenayas, la Casa de España permanentemente provee información sobre como la participación de los españoles fue determinante en la guerra de Independencia de Estados Unidos.Benayas explicó que la ayuda de los hispanos durante la independencia esta dounidense fue eliminada de algunos libros de 

historia.“Nadie recuerda que los españoles eran vecinos de las trece colonias, bajo las relaciones diplomáticas del entonces viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez y de su padre, España donóarmas,pólvora,dinero y hasta Benayas explicó que la ayuda de los hispanos durante la independenciaestadounidensefueeliminada de algunos libros de historia.

"Nadie recuerda que los españoles eran vecinos de las trece colonias, bajo las relaciones diplomáticas del entonces viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez y de su padre, España donóarmas,pólvora,dinero y hasta labor en la lucha por la independencia.

"No muchos supieron que en diciembre del 2014 se aprobó una resolución de 1783 del Comité de Relaciones Diplomáticas del Senado  que autorizaba montar el retrato de Gálvez en las paredes del Capitolio en Washington".

SegúnBenayasestaacciónmuestranalgunasdelasaportacionesde España para que nacieran los EstadosUnidoscomonación."Nadielo sabe,yloshispanosdebemosdifundirlo estos hechos históricos".

El presidente de la Casa de España piensa que hay una necesidad enormede educación sobre cultura e historia. "La primera ciudad que se estableció en este país fue la colonia española San Agustín en la Florida más de un siglo antes de la llegada de los pioneros del Mayflower, y las monedas españolas fueron el pillar dollar, el dinero que circulo en la Unión Americana de 1788 a 1857".

Copyright © 2015 The San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/03/2015
Sent by Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olsen  

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: From Empowerment to Direct Action in the Barrio!

Posted: 27 Jun 2015 08:25 AM PDT

The Plan de Santa Bárbara and the take-over of Chicano Park set the stage for the occupation of Neighborhood House

The 1960s brought many changes to Logan Heights that reflected the social convulsions unleashed by the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement nationally. Urban renewal policies brought freeways and massive displacement to Logan Heights. Generations of Mexican Americans in the community had indeed become “Americanized” and had their own vision of what constitutes a Great Society. They were demanding positions of leadership in every aspect of their social and political life. And Neighborhood House was changing too. Last week's interview with Irma Castro, who went to work at Neighborhood House in 1961, provided a glimpse into some of the changes.   [Read more...]

Sent by Dorinda Moreno pueblosenmovimientonorte@gmail.com 


Editor Mimi: These are cameos, reflecting anti-Mexican  attitudes between 1940-1970s

The exchange was prompted by this shared memory 
by Mike Acosta  "Blue shadows"

My first and only road trip thru Arizona happened several months after the 1964 civil rights act. I remember the trip well because it showed me that  kindness sometimes shows up in awkward ways.  Our family had decided to move from el pachuco (El Paso, Texas) to Los Angeles. I say our family but it was actually my mother who pressed the idea to leave this border city behind; she convinced dad that our destiny belonged in a city named after  angels.  An old dust covered  green chevy with a card- boarded side window carried us on this monumental trip.  the mechanism for raising this side window  broke as we entered Arizona. fortunately  my dad was good at practicing rasquache-he had a knack for fixing things with whatever was around.  he smartly shaped pieces of cardboard from a cardboard box he flattened into a window panel. Though this rasquache fix wasn’t very pretty, it  protected us from the choking dust that hot Arizona winds blew against our car. 
the sun had begun to sink by the time we reached the middle of this state. my father, my mother, two sisters and I were becoming bored listening to the only static-free music radio station repeat the same song, “blue shadows on the trail.”  We were also very hungry. munching chips and sucking hard candies on the road didn't cut it; we hungered for a plate of hot food. Fortunately,  a highway sign appeared advertising a family-style diner five miles ahead. My immediate impression of this diner as we approached it was that it looked like one of the old rundown boxcars I’d seen rusting in a rail yard. And the fact that it stood alone surrounded by miles of Martian-like landscape, even made us feel sorry about its isolation.
Dad pulled into a pea-graveled area behind the diner; he parked next to several pick-up trucks each with an old Goldwater sticker still stuck to the rear bumper and a rifle braced across the rear window. We stopped briefly before entering the diner to read a keep-out sign nailed to the side of the front door entrance; the sign read “ we do not serve the colored trade.”  I had never come across a sign like this before.  And from the way mom and dad shook their heads, apparently they had.  Strange how a simple sign can suddenly turn a casual moment into one of great uneasiness. Certainly, the color of our five skins reflected different hues of  brown, ranging from sepia tones to light beach tan. But even more certain was the fact that we were hungry. this alone dared us to enter the diner regardless of what might await us inside.
As I look back I wonder what teenage memories this bigoted sign might have  immediately brought back to mom. Did it trigger memories of the anti-color trolley policy in her home town she helped abolish? This policy restricted Mexican-Americans to sit at the back of the trolley. She and her friends mercilessly harassed the trolley authority until the restriction was lifted.
Dad entered the diner first with the rest of us huddled closely behind like baby ducklings. Talk about getting stares from a bunch of stunned diners.  Lucky for us their rifles hung safely outside in their pick up trucks. hunger intervened  however and quickly pushed aside the stares and focused our stomachs on scrumptious smells of cheese burgers sizzling on the griddle and pasta sauce simmering in a large pot. A middle- aged balding fat man of medium height wearing an apron with red splotches asked what dad wanted.  dad wasted no time in ordering a home style dinner for his family. And just as promptly, the fat man ordered us to get out.  Dad wanted to know why. The man matter-of-factly explained that the sign at the entrance also applied to Mexicans. And no amount of arguing by dad that we were American citizens changed this man’s mind. This rejection must have dug deeply into dad nullifying  whatever proud feeling he had about being an ordinary American; it was a feeling he had carried from the moment he was sworn in as a naturalized citizen a week before.  what a predicament all of us found ourselves in by possessing too much color to eat here. 
I  stood in disbelief that someone would deny another person food to eat just because of the hue of one’s skin. I looked up and saw a strange conflict between this lack of generosity and a picture of Jesus with loving eyes that hung on one of the diner walls. for certainly there was no Jesus in the fat man’s eyes, eyes that bulged with an unfriendliness I had seen  only once before in creepy dreams.  I  also saw familiar-shaped letters tattooed on the man’s upper right arm, shapes that strangely resembled the style of letters I would graffiti on walls of vacant buildings. This odd resemblance showed me again that if I looked closely enough I could always find in unexpected places things I thought were unique to me.
but I doubt that at that moment dad was looking for resemblances.  he was more preoccupied in pleading for something to eat. And it was easy to see that pleas were not moving this man who stood there like a store- front dummy staring at dad. What  feelings of supremacy must have welled up in this apron-wearing-man to see a brown-complexion customer begging food for his family. Would this man have denied a stray dog a bite to eat? The man’s wife who had been standing and observing behind the serving counter interrupted the Mexican standoff; she ordered her husband to quickly make us something to eat so that we could go on our way. Thank god that the fat man was also an uxorious husband; for though he mumbled a few unpleasant words, he obeyed his wife’s command and agreed to boil pasta noodles for our family dinner.  In the meantime his wife stacked  five white salad size ceramic plates on the counter for us to eat from. One of them was slightly cracked down the middle  but we were not about to send it back . strangely the fat man’s heart may have liberalized  a little. For he followed with five glasses of water and five forks that he bunched together next to the plates.  When the noodles were done the fat man served them without the warm pasta sauce on a large white ceramic platter he placed on the counter. “serve yourselves,” he curtly said. Regardless, dad still asked for some of the wonderful smelling sauce.  “no,” said the man, “all you’re getting is plain white spaghetti.”  we  ate standing away from the counter as the man directed us to do, holding a white plate of white spaghetti in one hand and a fork in the other. I didn’t dare ask the fat man for the spaghetti dinner sides listed on a menu chalkboard by the cash register.   I was afraid he and the gray haired diners would throw us outside onto the  pea gravel. But I tell you, slurping the plain white spaghetti noodles did quiet the rumblings in my empty stomach. 

As soon as we finished eating,  the fat man asked dad to pay for five full spaghetti menu dinners!  I wondered if dad’s former instinct for righting wrongs physically wanted to clobber this fat man for stiffing us on the sides and sauce. There was a time when dad would have been tempted to do just that.  Shortly before he married mom, he dreamed of becoming a professional boxer.  His impressive amateur knockout record testified to the punching power he threw from both hands. But one cold evening he suffered a freak accident in a gas station-a car tire he was filling with warm air exploded in his face.  the freakish accident ended his dream, scarred his face but as sometimes happens in misfortunes, new ways opened to him for holding his life together. I saw him learn to use inner strength, rather than strong muscles for handling tough situations. And no doubt it was this  new strength that also molded him into the dedicated and gracious man that kept our family together during times of turmoil.  evidence of dad’s graciousness was shown when he thanked both the fat man and his wife for their act of kindness in feeding our family; he even left a small tip for them by the empty salad plates he stacked neatly on the counter. Dad’s  act of classiness also contrasted with the loving diner picture of Jesus which by now had become to me a mere image of skin-deep love.
As we stepped outside the diner, the late afternoon light had turned to twilight. the crunching feel and sound of stepping on pea gravel on the way to our car gave us confirmation we had begun to free ourselves from the diner. And what a sight for sore eyes to see our dust-covered -window- boarded car again. Off to one side a flood light beamed on a young man with dark brown skin opening the diner’s back door. he was carrying bags of leftover food to empty into a corrugated trash can near our  parked car. Dad greeted him in friendly Spanish words. the young man smiled,  his eyes twinkled at the everyday homie greeting.  we learned  that the young man was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who worked at the diner during the week. He would return to Mexico on the weekends to give his family the few dollars he earned working at the diner.  I reflected on the different doors the young man and ourselves opened: we barely entered thru the front door and he was allowed entrance only thru the back door.  

We hurried into our car and as quickly as we got seated dad drove away to resume our trip to Los Angeles . From the back seat where I sat, I looked over dad’s shoulder and saw  a dark blue sky; only ribbons of pink and orange sun-glow glimmered across the horizon. I imagined that the sun had held back these last threads of light for our family to see the road ahead.  After a short distance later, I decided to look  back over my shoulder.  I saw no sign of sunlight nor of blue shadows on the trail. I saw only bleak images of a rundown diner disappearing into the Arizona darkness…  Viva la Raza

In a message dated 10/18/2015 3:47:32 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Enriqueta Ramos damique@SBCGLOBAL.NET  writes:
I grew up in the 40's during WWII and went to Catholic schools; we were the majority. We had on Anglo boy in the entire elementary and junior high school. Left SB in 51 and lived in Sumter, S.C.; lots of prejudice and discrimination against AAs. Went to Catholic Church St. Augustine in the 'colored' side of town; the taxi would drop us off two block away. And I would be lying if I said I experienced discrimination as a child in SB. I experienced prejudice because I was a catholic school girl who lived in the white part of town, this from other 'Tex-Mex' students. Living most of my life in "a White world" because we were usually the only nonwhite we were always accepted. When we got to Calif. I was very involved with the UFW and marched, boycotted, past out leaflets at groceries, etc. It was a great time to be there with the Walk outs, organizing UMAS then MEChA. BECOMING a Chicana and teaching the course after developing them and researching the books and tapes to find materials, it was one of the best chapters in my life. 

In a message dated 10/18/2015 3:48:42 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Ben Alvillar,  benalvillar@OUTLOOK.COM  writes:  blue shadow
Hi Ellena:
Your narrative of your experiences going through Arizona reminded me of two very difficult incidents I experienced with prejudice and discrimination. When I was a kid back in Colorado, we children were not allowed to use the swimming pool and were able to buy ice cream in the local drug store but we had to eat it outside in the hot sun, and, of course, we had to sit in the segregated upper balcony of the movie theater.

And as an adult I had the following experience. One Saturday my wife and 2 daughters bought some hamburgers and fries and decided to eat under a big shade tree to keep the sun off of us. While sitting in the car at the curb a crabby white woman came storming out of her house to castigate us and warned us not to throw any trash in her yard. Since I was a child I have never thrown trash in anybody's property and I taught my girls to also be respectful of people and their property. so I was furious for the way the woman spoke to us in an accusing voice, and my first thought was to throw all the trash in her yard, but I knew this would only reinforce her stereotyped attitude towards Mexicans so I had to refrain from doing so.

I remember traveling to Santa Barbara with my first family and stopping to use the rest room at a filling station someplace around the Salton Sea and they wouldn't let my five year old use their facilities so she had to avail herself behind a bush.  This was in 1974!  Probably still bad in some rural areas.
Henry Flores, PhD
Distinguished University Research Professor
Institute of Public Administration and Public Service and
Director, Masters in Public Administration (MPA)
Professor of International Relations and Political Science
St. Mary's University 
San Antonio, TX


Just one of these things that crops up from time to time. My youngest brother Reggie Garcia, is a well educated man. Shows and has respect for every one he meets. He is very " Mejicano" looking. When he graduated from university, he tried very hard to get a job in the teaching field.
Unfortunately, the field was flooded, so he became a fireman in Oakland, California. Well, the Oakland Fire Department, was well endowed with the , " Good old Boy!" Persuasion. My brother Reggie is in the dark side. So needless to say, there was a bit of ribbing done. It probably helped that one of my brothers -in law, was married to one of my sisters. He was from Arkansas.
He knew the ways of that genre. Well, it took Reggie a little time to work out some of the problems, well, my brother Reggie, I am proud to say, is born with a Keen intellect. He can read people very well. Because of this, he ascended very quickly in the fire department. He became a well acquainted to the vagaries of the job. His promotions came timely and with full acknowledgement from his peers. I visited him a few times at the station he worked in. I was always alerted to how they spoke of him. I was very pleased with the consensus they presented.
Reggie was well liked and much respected where ever he worked. I was talking to him about his supposedly high rate of approval from his fellow fireman. He looked at me as if trying to discern some trickery or no understanding on my part, and he said very quietly and honestly, "I do it with kindness Ed., just kindness." 

Would that the rest of the world worked that way.
Submitted by Eduardo Arechabala Alcantar


Really you never experienced discrimination in the 20th century in Texas?  Lucky you. 

I can tell you lots of stories about my family travels through the southwest and Louisiana where we could not go into restaurants, had to carry our own pee pots for us kids, my mom had to go to the kitchen to order food because my grandfather was too dark.   Actually I was moved by blue shadows because it reminded me of our move from Ascarate, Texas to Sacramento, CA.  My dad drove straight through without sleep the entire time.  We finally rested at some camp just inside of California that was full of Mexican families like ours.  I was 12 when we left Texas in 1954. 

As a child I played under the kitchen table while the boys my age ran outside.  I was the unseen kid as my older cousins, tias and my mom talked about their experiences as they prepared meals for the families.  I went to a segregated school and was spanked my first day in school for speaking Spanish.  I could go on. 

Some day I would love to learn how you got so lucky.
Elena Macias, Ph.D., M.S.W



Alma L. Pond Mormon - Mexican Missionary 
Trailblazers - Faustino Gracia Almaguer 1880-19??
A Crash Course on Mormon Cursing

Alma L. Pond Mormon - Mexican Missionary: Museum of Mormon Mexican History 

On Sunday October, 3, 2010, following the conclusion of the LDS General Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, The Museum of Mormon Mexican History MMMH, sponsored an evening to be remembered and cherished.

This was a unique night for those in attendance and for the museum itself.  The founder, Fernando R. Gomez, put together a special presentation for the Pond family.  The connection between the Pond and Gomez families goes back almost 100 years, when missionary Alma L. Pond, from Logan, Utah, came in contact with a young Gomez family.  This family was baptized on April 5, 1925 into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one of the members of the Gomez family was a young 14-year old boy, who was Fernando Gomez’s father.

With a night filled with tears of joy and excitement, the Pond and Gomez families renewed their connection once more.  By the charity of Fran Pond Westover and Janet Pond Mecham, daughters of Alma Pond, two of Alma Pond’s diaries from his mission were donated to the museum and now can be preserved and cherished by so many more.  The history of Mormonism in Mexico is important and vital to the roots of so many families today.  If you don’t think so, just ask the Pond and Gomez families.

For more information contact us at: frgmuseo1@hotmail.com web page:
http://www.museomormonmx.com/ Default.aspx? 




Hermano Garcia told us about his conversation, indicating that the missionaries had visited him at his farm about 14 miles from Monterrey and explained some of the Gospel principles to him and leaving a Book of Mormon and some tracts.  The next time he went to Monterrey, he looked up the missionaries and told them that he had read the Book of Mormon and the tracts, that he had prayed about it, and that he had received a testimony and wanted to get baptized.

The missionaries said, “Hermano Garcia, there is still more that we must explain to you, and things you must do before we can baptize you.  They then explained to him the law of tithing and the Word of Wisdom.

“I can pay tithing” he said, “ but I don’t know how I can throw away my cigarettes.  I have smoked since I was a little boy.”
“Will you ask the Lord to help you and try?” the missionaries asked, ”Yes,” he answered, “I will try.”

The next morning before he hitched his mule to his cart to drive those 14 miles back to his ranch, he rolled four cigarettes.  He had a plan in mind.  It was that as he reached four different landmarks along the way, he would smoke a cigarette, and when the fourth one was smoked, he would be through with smoking.

He jogged along by his mule cart with the large tree by the side of the road in his mind.  There, he was going to have his first cigarette.  When he got there, however, he said to himself, “ I am not dead yet.  Maybe I can wait till I get to the big arroyo.’ When he arrived at the big arroyo, he said, “Maybe I can wait once more.”  “When he arrived at his ranch, he threw all four of the cigarettes away. He had quit smoking for good.

When the elders had to leave Mexico, Hermano Garcia was ordained an Elder and left to preside over the Monterrey branch.  He tried for a while to hold meetings every week, but by the time he took to travel to Monterrey with his mule and cart, one day to hold meetings, and another day to get back to his ranch; there wasn’t enough time to get his farming done.  Consequently he only went to Monterrey every other week to hold meetings.

When Hermano Gracia received word that President Pratt was going to be holding some mission conference in Laredo, Texas. He started out in his mule and cart to attend the conference which was – three hundred miles away.  Unfortunately, his mule gave out and he had to leave the mule in the care of a farmer, until his return trip.  

The highway was under construction with washouts along the way,  making travel along the way, on the highway difficult and slow.  Fortunately,  Hermano Gracia stopped and helped some people  pull their car out of the mud.  In return, they offered him a ride, and he was able to make it to the conference. 


El Hermano Gracia nos habló de su conversación. Anteriormente los misioneros lo habían visitado en su milpa que se encontraba a 25 kilómetros de Monterrey y le explicaron algunos puntos del Evangelio. Le dejaron un Libro de Mormón y algunos folletos. La próxima vez que fue a Monterrey, buscó a los misioneros y les dijo que había leído el Libro de Mormón y los folletos. Que había orado al respecto, y que había recibido un testimonio y quería ser bautizado.

Los misioneros le dijeron: "Hermano Gracia, todavía hay más que debemos explicarle y las cosas que debe hacer antes de que podamos bautizarlo. A continuación, le explicaron la ley del diezmo y la Palabra de Sabiduría.

"Puedo pagar el diezmo", dijo, "pero no sé cómo puedo tirar mis cigarrillos. He fumado desde que era pequeño ".  Los misioneros le preguntaron "¿Pedirá al Señor para que le ayude a lograrlo?": "Sí", respondió: "Voy a intentarlo."

A la mañana siguiente antes de que enganchar su mula a su carreta para emprender su largo viaje de regreso a su milpa, preparó cuatro cigarrillos. Él tenía un plan en mente. Era que al llegar a cuatro puntos de referencia que se encontraban a lo largo del camino, iba a fumar un cigarrillo, y cuando terminara con el cuarto dejaría de fumar.

Al caminar a lado de su mula pensaba fumar sus cigarros cuando llegara a un lugar donde había un árbol muy grande. Cuando llegó allí, sin embargo, se dijo a sí mismo: "Yo aún no estoy muerto. Tal vez pueda esperar hasta llegar al gran arroyo. "Cuando llegó al gran arroyo, dijo," Tal vez pueda esperar una rato más." Cuando llegó a su milpa, arrojó los cuatro cigarrillos a la basura. Él logró dejar de fumar para siempre.

Cuando los misioneros tuvieron que salir de México, el Hermano Gracia fue ordenado élder y fue llamado a presidir la congregación en Monterrey. Intentó, por un tiempo, tener reuniones cada semana, pero por razón de viajar a pie con su mula le requería un día para llegar a Monterrey, un día para celebrar las reuniones, y otro día para regresar a su milpa; no hubo tiempo suficiente para sus labores en el campo. En consecuencia sólo fue a Monterrey cada dos semanas.

Un día el Hermano Gracia recibió la noticia de que el Presidente Rey L. Pratt iba a tener una conferencia de la misión en Laredo, Texas.  Junto con su mula que jalaba su carreta  inició su  viaje hacia la frontera para asistir a la conferencia– un viaje de  500 kilómetros. Su mula no aguantó la distancia y se vio en la necesidad de dejarla a cargo de un agricultor  y recogerla al regreso .

 Por razón de que la carretera estaba en construcción había muchos derrumbes ocasionando difícil conducir la distancia. Ayudó a unas personas a sacar su automóvil estancado los cuales le ofrecieron un aventón y logró llegar a la conferencia.


Years later, it was a Friday afternoon when Elder Redd and I met Hermano Faustino Gracia.  We went with him that afternoon and all day Saturday visiting as many of the members as we could.  They were very happy to see some missionaries again even though it was but a visit.  The next day there were 25 in attendance at the meetings, but because of the laws of Mexico we were unable to take part other than sing with the congregation.

Años más tarde, en un viernes,  Elder Redd y yo visitamos al Hermano Faustino Gracia. Estuvimos con él esa tarde y todo el día Sábado visitando a muchos de los miembros.  Para ellos fue muy agradable ver misioneros de nuevo, aunque solo era por un rato. Al día siguiente había 25 de asistencia a las reuniones, pero no pudimos tomar parte, ya que la ley no lo permitía, pero si pudimos cantar con la congregación.  

Faustino Gracia Almaguer was born on September 14, 1880 in Villa de Santiago, NL, Mexico, son of Enemecio Gracia y María de Jesús Almaguer.  Married to Manuela Valdés and his farm was in Cadereyta. He was baptized by élder Harold B. Larson, and confirmed by Adelbert Redd on May 20, 1922 in Monterrey, NL México. He was the first to receive the Melquisedec Priesthood and ordained and Elder on July 28, 1926.  He presided over the Monterrey Branch from 1926 until 1934.            

History from the diary of Elder Robert Cooper

Faustino Gracia Almaguer, nació  el 14 de septiembre 1880 en Villa de Santiago, NL, México, hijo de Enemencio Gracia y María de Jesús Almaguer.  Casado con Manuela Valdés y su milpa estaba en Cadereyta. Fue bautizado por el élder Harold B. Larson, confirmado por Adelbert Redd el 20 de mayo 1922 en Monterrey, NL México. Él fue el primero que recibió el Sacerdocio de Melquisedec al ser ordenado Elder el 28 de julio 1926. Fue presidente de la rama de Monterrey desde 1926 a 1934.                          
Datos tomados del Diario de Elder Robert Cooper

A Crash Course on Mormon Cursing

October 14, 2015
Huffington Post

There is a fond story of the former prophet Spencer W. Kimball being wheeled into the hospital for heart surgery and hearing one of the orderlies cursing using Christ's name. He put a hand on the man's arm and politely asked him not to swear that way because Christ was his dear friend and it hurt him. The orderly cleaned up his language immediately, and President Kimball went into the surgery and came out of it well.

I remember when I was eight years old, surrounded in New Jersey by non-Mormon adults and children who swore without a thought, and I swore once at home when my father was around. I was immediately treated to my mouth being washed out with soap and a long lecture on why I was not supposed to swear, from being a "light in the darkness" as my father felt strongly was my responsibility as a Mormon living among Mormons, to not "be defiling the temple of Christ" which I was, by using disgusting, filthy words. If you know any Mormons, the thing that you probably noticed first about them, even before they refused a cup of coffee or a drink of alcohol, it was probably the fact that they didn't ever use even casual swear words.




The Lady in Blue, Sor Maria Jesus de Agreda
Billy the Kid and Family Memories by Ray John de Aragon
A Little California History . . . Big Surprise ending
Some Early Mora, New Mexico History: Chapters 10-12 by Louis F. Serna
Memorial Crosses Along Tijuana-San Diego Border
The Deportation of Innocence
The Refusal of Carmelita Torres 
Chihuahua: King of NAFTA Chile

According to legend, on her last bilocation, as the Blue Lady walked away,  
her cloak touched the ground, blue bonnets sprang up.  

Dear friends,  A Jumano cousin, Carmel Lujan from Midland, TX sent me this contact who is the Bureau Chief of the Vatican Information Office in Rome. I sent her the letter below, praying that our camera crew will be able to get there and that doors open for our documentary and the cause of Sor Maria. https://joansrome.wordpress.com/about/ 

From: jerry_javier_lujan@hotmail.com 
To: joansrome@ewtn.com 
CC: eravisionfilms@yahoo.com ; mhfedewa@comcast.net 
Subject: About the coming World Congress on Mariology in Rome
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 13:07:21 -0600

Dear Joan, 

A cousin of mine follows you on E.W.T.N. and encouraged me to write to you to introduce myself and the Margil Sor Maria Initiative and inform you about our activities to promote the cause of beatification for Sor Maria de Jesus de Agreda (The Mystical Lady in Blue). Are you familiar with her legend of how she bilocated over 500 times in the early 1600s and taught the Faith to the Jumano Nation of Central and West Texas and New Mexico? I am a descendent of the Jumano, and chairman of the Margil Sor Maria Initiative in New Mexico.

The late Dr. Henry J. Casso founded this group and led it with passion until his death. He passed the baton to me the night before he died. Dr. Casso was a priest for 25 years until he fell in love and got married. But he never lost his profound devotion and faith in the Church. You can Google him and find out what a remarkable man he was.

Dr. Casso enlisted Victor Mancilla of EraVision Films from L.A. to produce a documentary of Sor Maria from a Southwestern U.S. perspective, called, “The Needle and the Thread.” EraVision Films has taken on this challenge as a true labor of love. The filming is almost complete, but one last crucial element is about to be added; that is filming at the coming World Congress on Mariology at the Auditorium of the Pontifical University in Rome on October 29-30. The main goals of the documentary are two-fold; first to promote the beatification of Sor Maria de Agreda, and secondly, through it, introduce Sor Maria’s master literary work, “The Mystical City of God,” (MCG) to the world. This four volume work has been translated into forty languages, but is still relatively unknown. Junípero Serra a second generation disciple of Sor Maria took a copy of the MCG with him when he embarked on his missionary work in California.

The second objective is of paramount importance in helping a much needed grassroots revitalization of Roman Catholicism at this time of great crisis and challenges. When completed, it is our aim to enlist the help of E.W.T.N. media to broadcast this piece worldwide or at least throughout the Americas. 

Our camera crew (Victor and two others) will be in Rome from October 26th through November 2nd. Also in attendance will be Marilyn Fedewa, author of “The Mystical Lady In Blue,” and honorary member of the Jumano Apache Tribe. I pray this letter inspires you sufficiently enough for you to help us reach our goals. It would be wonderful if you made an effort to communicate with these two persons while they are in Rome.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I look forward to an extended working relationship with you and E.W.T.N.

Sincerely, Jerry Lujan, Chairman
Margil Sor Maria Initiative

This photo of Billy the Kid that was given to my father by Bonifacio Baca. 


By Ray John de Aragon

My father, Maximo de Aragon who was born in 1903, was an interesting character with a varied career.  He had sold Spanish and English newspapers as a young boy in Las Vegas, New Mexico just before the Territory of New Mexico became a state in 1912.  He subsequently worked as a stock boy for the Charles Ilfeld Company, then he worked for the  railroad for a short time.  He became a cook, an insurance agent, owned his own loan company, and ran for political office.  His most successful career though was as a traveling salesman during the 1940s and 1950s selling to the countless mom and pop grocery stores located throughout New Mexico.  

In this job he journeyed to isolated villages, small towns, and cities.  As he traveled he got to meet and became friends with hundreds of people.  The dominant language in places he went to was, of course, Spanish.  He often wrote about his recollections in Spanish, but being fluent in English he also wrote in that language.

My dad always talked about the people he had met and known.  He was quite excited about the fact that Leo Carrillo had lived in a house located right across the street from ours in Las Vegas.  This was just before Carrillo moved to Los Angeles and became an actor, starring in the popular Cisco Kid TV series and several motion pictures. 

Leo Carrillo’s time in Las Vegas, New Mexico while he was working for the railroad isn’t that well known.  My father reminisced about their many conversations as neighbors.  He also talked about having sold newspapers as a boy in Albuquerque to the famous Sheriff Elfego Baca and having gotten to know him quite well.  Walt Disney Studios produced The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca, a TV series about the famous Old West lawman in the 1950s.   My father mentioned to me that Jose Chavez y Chavez had lived up the street from us and had always walked by in front of our home on his way to the Plaza Park.  He constantly mentioned the house where Bonifacio Baca had lived as we would drive by and other individuals such as Milnor Rudolph from Mora whom he had always visited, and other notables.  As a little boy I had no idea who these people were.  

Photo of Doña Catalina Mondragon de Valdez center. 
Left daughter Virginia Valdez, and son Juan Valdez right

The one person that both my mother, Maria Cleofas Sanchez de Aragon, and my father talked about was my father’s grandmother, Doña Catalina Mondragon de Valdez.  She had been a popular and well-know curandera (Medicine Woman) in northern New Mexico who had saved many lives, especially during the widespread influenza epidemic of 1916 that killed numerous men women, and children.

They would reflect on that she had known many influential people during her lifetime, and they had befriended her.  One close friend was the notorious Billy the Kid.  According to my parents my great-grandmother had treated William H. Bonney, alias Billy the Kid in a village called Anton Chico, a place he would frequent, and the place, interestingly, where Sheriff Pat F. Garrett had gotten married to Apolinaria Gutierrez from Tecolote, New Mexico near Las Vegas. 

Garrett shot and killed the Kid in 1881.  I was told that Doña Catalina found Billy the Kid to be very personable, that she liked him very much, and that they became friends.  She was sixteen years old when she first met the outlaw and treated him.  She lived to the ripe old age of 98.  A favorite memory of her told to me by my parents was that when they would visit and spend some time with her was that she kept an old trunk next to  her bed, and containers underneath her bed which held her most prized possessions.   They told me she always took out some very old photo albums to show them and point out the people that gave her the photos and tell their stories.  After her death, my father inherited the albums which were later given to me.  

Favorite stories that my father passed on to me were that in 1914 he and his brother Juan  hopped on a train and traveled to Albuquerque from Las Vegas to see and meet William F. Cody, Buffalo Bill.  As a newspaper boy in 1912 my father said that he had sold newspapers to Jose Chavez y Chavez at the Old town Plaza park in Las Vegas, and that he along with other boys would listen to Chavez talk about his exploits with Billy the Kid.  He mentioned that Bonifacio Baca had given him a photo of Billy the Kid and other items, and that Baca, who had lived only four houses South of our old family home, and he had been, “Very good friends.”  I wound up finding out that Bonifacio Baca was the son of Captain Saturnino Baca and they both had played a role in the life and times of Billy the Kid and the famous Lincoln County War. I also found out that Milnor Rudolph had been the foreman of the inquest into the death of Billy the Kid, and  Jose Chavez y Chavez had been Billy’s sidekick.  I became immensely interested in the life and legend of Billy the Kid  as I was growing up to the point that I wanted to see the San Miguel County Jail where he had been held.  I saw the building and the jail cells shortly before this historic landmark was torn down.  I saw where Elfego Baca practiced law after he became an attorney, and the corner of Central and Gold Avenues in Albuquerque where the lawman had always waited for my father, and his daily newspaper.  

On the right is my father, Maximo de Aragon as a newspaper boy on Bridge Street, Las Vegas, New Mexico 1912.  Store owner Juan Vigil is in the center,  and gambler Benedito Peralta at right.
===================================== =====================================
I wanted to experience a closer association to the history both my parents were proud of and talked about.  This motivated, and influenced my later career as a historian, and writer.  

Below are the titles of some of the books that I authored:
Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy  
The Legend of La Llorona  
Hermanos de la Luz/Brothers of the Light.  Enchanted Legends of New Mexico  
The Penitentes of New Mexico  
Hidden History of Spanish New Mexico  
New Mexico Book of the Undead  
Lincoln, a photo-documentary of the town
      of Lincoln, New Mexico, 
Billy the Kid, 
Lincoln County War  

Doña Barbara Chavez de Sanchez.  Governor Manuel Armijo’s niece.  Armijo was the last Mexican Republic governor of New Mexico.  She was United States Senator Dionicio (Dennis) Chavez’ grandmother, 
and my great-great grandmother.

, New Mexico HISTORY
by Louis F. Serna
Chapters 10-12   
In part, Courtesy of Wikipedia


The first Mora “settlement” was called “San Antonio de lo de Mora” and it lasted until 1833 when Plains Indians, mainly Comanches, drove the settlers out. Two years later, Governor Albino Perez created the “Mora Land Grant” which extended from today Mora, all the way to Wagon Mound. 76 individuals, most with families, colonized the area. The valley then consisted of two parts; El Valle de San Antonio, AKA El Valle de Arriba, “the Upper Valley”, which included Chacon, Cleveland and Holman, and El Valle de Santa Gertrudis, the lower part of the valley, including present day Mora. The town of Mora was a collection of “neighborhoods” such as El Alto, Juarez, Tramperos and even China Block, for reasons unknown. Other communities nearby would follow, such as Guadalupita, which is formally; Nuestra Senora de Guadalupita, LeDoux, which originally was “San Jose”, then changed to honor the Frenchman, Antoine LeDoux  Llano del Coyote, AKA Rainsville and other communities well known to the locals of Mora.

Hispanic settlers occupied lands within the Mora Valley without legal title ever since Governor de Anza made peace with the Comanches in the late 18th century, opening up the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains for settlement. However, Mora was formally founded as a farming community in 1835. The settlers came primarily from Las Trampas, but also from Picuris and Embudo. The 76 families each received a strip of land by grant of Governor Albino Perez. The valley, the river and the town took their name from the family name "Mora" of several of the settler families.

In 1843, there was a raid on the town by Texas freebooters under Colonel Charles A. Warfield claiming that people in Mora had purchased stolen beef from the Comanches. The Texans rode in and killed five men and took eighteen women and children captive as well as 75 horses. The men of the Mora Valley convened a posse, overtook the Texans, recovered their livestock and family members and sent them back to Texas on foot after some much due “punishment”. The Texans did not return.

Chapter 11            The Battles for Mora

At the time of the revolt at Taos, a similar action occurred in the village of Mora, NM. Following is the account of the battles at Mora;

The First Battle of Mora was part of the Taos Revolt and the Mexican-American War, between U.S. Army troops and the NM Militia. It took place in January 1847.

The rebellion began with the capture and subsequent execution of a group of eight American merchants traveling to Missouri by “insurgents” of the revolt of 1847. On 20 January 1847, Capt. Hendley learned of the Mora insurrection while in command of the grazing detachment along the Pecos River, and he took possession of Las Bagas (Las Vegas), with 250 men, where the insurgents were beginning to gather. On 22 Jan., Capt. Hendley learned that the insurgents had gathered a force of about two hundred men in Mora, where he headed with 80 of his men. The rest stayed behind in “Las Bagas”, (Las Vegas).

On 24 Jan., Capt. Hendley arrived in Mora and "found a body of Mexicans under arms, prepared to defend the town”. His men were attacked by the Mexicans who fired from the windows and loop-holes of their houses. While pursuing the rebels into an old fort, Capt. Hendley was shot and killed. The Americans then retired, lacking artillery.

Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, a member of the Army of the West, reported the battle thus:

At the handsome village of Mora, eighteen miles west of the present [as of 1878] Fort Union, eight Americans were murdered. January 22d, Capt. Hendley, Second Missouri Volunteers, marched there from Las Vegas on the 24th, with eighty men. He found it occupied by over one hundred and fifty men who he engaged, attempting to enter the town, who were supported by a sally. He then assaulted the town and penetrated from house to house, some of which were destroyed and into one end of their fort, where he was killed and several were wounded. Lieut. McKarney then  expecting the return of from three hundred to five hundred men, who had left there that day, withdrew and marched back to Las Vegas with fifteen prisoners; he reported fifteen to twenty of the enemy slain.

The Americans returned for revenge in the Second Battle of Mora.

The Second Battle of Mora was a military engagement during the Taos Revolt of the Mexican-American War. Seeking revenge for the death of Capt. Hendley, Waldo, Noyes, Culver and others in the First Battle of Mora, Capt. Morin and his men destroyed the village on Feb. 1, with the insurgents fleeing into the mountains. The fate of the women and children of Mora was not reported. The dead bodies of the Americans were buried at Las Bagas (Las Vegas).

On February 1, approximately 200 United States troops led by Captain Jesse I. Morin returned to Mora armed with two howitzers and a raging commitment to avenge their fellow soldiers’ deaths. Israel R. Hendley was defeated and killed in the First Battle of Mora due to his lack of artillery and overwhelming enemy forces. The two forces of 200 men each were about the same strength of one company. The difference between the combatants was that the U.S. troops were well trained in military tactics and the use of weapons while the men of Mora were farmers, skilled in farming, ranching and occasional hunting of game for the table with limited armaments and ammunition. The Americans set up their artillery and began the battle with a short artillery barrage on the fort protecting Mora. The Americans then attacked and the New Mexicans quickly gave up, mainly due to the lack of ammunition. They were routed after the fort fell and a few minutes of skirmishing in the dirt streets of Mora. The majority of insurgents fled up and over the surrounding mountains, to other villages of northern New Mexico. Morin directed his men to pursue the fleeing New Mexicans and ordered the complete destruction of Mora, regardless of the disposition of the women and children.

Morin's men burned the wheat fields that surrounded the town, which was unnecessary, while others chased after the New Mexicans through the Mora Valley. The women and children also fled to the mountains. They left because the burning of the town left no food or shelter. Captain Morin later justified his actions by stating that he fought the New Mexicans in such a manner in revenge for their killing of Captain Hendley at Mora just a week earlier. This battle marked the end of one campaign during the New Mexican revolt. No American casualties were reported and the Mexicans suffered several dead or wounded as well as seventeen men captured. Captain Jesse I. Morin would go on to fight the final engagement of the revolt at the Battle of Cienega Creek. The surviving New Mexican civilians returned to Mora later and rebuilt their town.

In 1847, after the Battle of Mora, Federal troops killed stragglers, looted and burned the town, the nearby ranches, and all the crops. The town was essentially destroyed and was rebuilt by the people who had fled at the news of artillery coming up the valley. After 1851 when Fort Union was established on the Santa Fe Trail, these same farmers had restored their crop fields and harvested enough for themselves and for sale to others. They sold their excess crops to the fort. A commendable  example of survival and revival of a people.

Ceran St. Vrain settled in Mora in 1853 and built a grist mill and became a major supplier of flour, grain and fodder to Fort Union. At the peak in the 19th century there were five grist mills operating in Mora. The ruins of St. Vrain’s mill still sit one block north of Mora’s main street.

Thus ends this account of Mora’s bloody Battles, although surely there are other sides to this story which will probably never be heard as those participants in the battle are no longer living. Certainly, the people of Mora, descended from those farmers and ranchers of that time, who rose up in arms to defend their way of life, have their own versions of the events as told to them by their ancestors in quiet oral history. Please note that in this account, containing the actual statements made by the U.S. military officers and others, they refer to the citizens as “Mexicans” instead of Spanish people which is what they were. At the time, these Spanish people had been citizens of the Republic of Mexico and were therefore technically, “Mexicans”, however, the U.S. authorities made no distinction between the two., to them, they were all “Mexicans” in a derogatory sense of the word.

Although this historical account of the battles of Mora and its people is sad enough in its outcome, the people of Mora would have yet another battle to endure, although thankfully not as bloody, but equally threatening in its attack on their ability to live peacefully, cultivating their fields and enjoying the fruits of their labor. The next battle would occur in the courts and their attackers would be even more skilled and merciless in the form of the most prominent lawyers of their time, Thomas E. Elkins and Thomas B. Catron, the masters at separating Spanish and Mexican Land Grants from their legal owners, using the legal system and a legal practice of lawful robbery called The Santa Fe Ring…!  

Chapter 12        The Third Invasion of Mora –
                              The Taking of The Mora Land Grant
                                        (Portions of this account are from Wikipedia)

On 22 February 1916, the common lands of the Mora land grant were sold to "The State Investment Company" at the courthouse door in Mora. Without access to the grazing and timbering lands, many residents were forced to seek work outside Mora and left the lands of their ancestors.

Perhaps those intrepid Mora citizens of 1847 who revolted against a new United States form of government were in fact correct in their belief that the new government would eventually take their lands and either starve them out or force them to leave their rightful lands in desperation. Indeed, it came to pass although not on a battlefield but inside the very courts that were supposed to protect their rights under the U.S. Constitution. Skillful lawyers, practicing methods developed in the New Mexico courts, solely for the purpose of taking lands from Spanish / Mexican citizens legally, within a band of lawyers, judges, bankers and others called “The Santa Fe Ring”, eventually succeed in doing just that. Like the predator that waits for his prey to become helpless before striking the death blow, so did lawyers like Elkins and Catron, wait out the desperate land owners until they could no longer afford to defend their rights in a corrupt court, finally give up their throats for the kill..! They were forced off their lands by Sheriff’s Sale for failure to pay taxes or some other “legal” action that resulted in the same end… forcing the poor Spanish land owner off his own land..!  

Stephen Benton Elkins

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

U.S. Senator of NM 1895 – 1911

U.S. District Attorney 1867 - 1870  


In cases like the Sale of the Mora Land Grant, Elkins and Catron manipulated a series of sales of lands, whether they owned it or not, to an accomplice who soon sold it to another within the conspiratorial group for $1.00,  and then to yet another, until the paperwork was so convoluted that the rightful owner could not afford to fight the old “pea under the walnut shell” trick and the land was soon taken from him “legally”. In a Land Grant where there were 76 people who had to be named in every legal action, it soon became almost impossible to find, notify and register every owner within the time allowed, so many tracts of land were declared “abandoned” or “owner unable to be identified”, and so those parcels were sold to the County, who put them up for sale at the Courthouse steps to the highest bidder, usually a member of the conspiratorial group..!  

Thomas B. Catron

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

U.S. Senator of NM 1912 – 1917

U.S. Attorney for NM 1872  


The Mora Land Grant became the “Mora Land Grab” in the courts and eventually, as in a shark feeding frenzy, the Land Grant owners were “consumed” by the greedy lawyers until today, the Grant is fragmented and some of the legal Spanish recipients of the Grant are nowhere to be found and what is left of the Grant is in the possession of some financial group set up specifically for this purpose. The American Dream at work in its finest fashion..!  To be fair, there must by some families today, who somehow managed to keep their lands in their families’ possession.

The only thing that has not changed for the worse in Mora, is the awesome beauty of the Mora River Valley and the surrounding villages where Spanish people continue to live, work and maintain a wonderful relationship with each other. Although many family members have moved away to other places to make a living in this modern competitive world, they maintain a close kinship with each other. As one cousin from Mora told me, “anymore, we mainly get together for weddings and funerals”.

Mora is a place that has survived much and from conversations I have had with many of my cousins of Mora and the nearby communities, it will always be a place of great love and beauty, both of the land itself and the people who have lived the history of Mora… It will never die..!  

Louis F. Serna

August 2015





 A Little California History . . . Big Surprise ending

TRUCKEE, Calif. - Western stagecoach companies were big business in the latter half of the 19th century. In addition to passengers and freight, stages hauled gold and silver bullion as well as mining company payrolls. Stage robbery was a constant danger and bandits employed many strategies to ambush a stagecoach. Thieves rarely met with much resistance from stage drivers, since they had passenger safety foremost in mind. The gang was usually after the Wells Fargo money box with its valuable contents. Passengers were seldom hurt, but they were certainly relieved of their cash, watches and jewelry. Before the completion of the transcontinental railroad over Donner Pass in 1868, the only transportation through the Sierra was by stage. Rugged teamsters held rein over six wild-eyed horses as they tore along the precipitous mountain trails. The stagecoaches were driven by skilled and fearless men who pushed themselves and their spirited horses to the limit.

One of the most famous drivers was Charles Darkey Parkhurst, who had come west from New England in 1852 seeking his fortune in the Gold Rush. He spent 15 years running stages, sometimes partnering with Hank Monk, the celebrated driver from Carson City. Over the years, Pankhurst's reputation as an expert whip grew. From 20 feet away he could slice open the end of an envelope or cut a cigar out of a man's mouth. Parkhurst smoked cigars, chewed wads of tobacco, drank with the best of them, and exuded supreme confidence behind the reins. His judgment was sound and pleasant manners won him many friends.

One afternoon as Charley drove down from Carson Pass the lead horses veered off the road and a wrenching jolt threw him from the rig. He hung on to the reins as the horses dragged him along on his stomach. Amazingly, Parkhurst managed to steer the frightened horses back onto the road and save all his grateful passengers.

NO PATIENCE FOR CROOKS - During the 1850's, bands of surly highwaymen stalked the roads. These outlaws would level their shotguns at stage drivers and shout, "Throw down the gold box!" Charley Parkhurst had no patience for the crooks despite their demands and threatening gestures.

The most notorious road agent was nicknamed "Sugarfoot." When he and his gang accosted Charley's stage, it was the last robbery the thief ever attempted. Charley cracked his whip defiantly, and when his horses bolted, he turned around and fired his revolver at the crooks. Sugarfoot was later found dead with a fatal bullet wound in his stomach.

In appreciation of his bravery, Wells Fargo presented Parkhurst with a large watch and chain made of solid gold.

In 1865, Parkhurst grew tired of the demanding job of driving and he opened his own stage station. He later sold the business and retired to a ranch near Soquel, Calif. The years slipped by and Charley died on Dec. 29, 1879, at the age of 67. A few days later, the Sacramento Daily Bee published his obituary. It read;

"On Sunday last, there died a person known as Charley Parkhurst, aged 67, who was well-known to old residents as a stage driver. He was in early days accounted one of the most expert manipulators of the reins who ever sat on the box of a coach. It was discovered when friendly hands were preparing him for his final rest, that Charley Parkhurst was unmistakably a well-developed woman!"

NOT LIKE OTHER MEN, ER, WOMEN? Once it was discovered that Charley was a
woman, there were plenty of people to say they had always thought he wasn't like other men. Even though he wore leather gloves summer and winter, many noticed that his hands were small and smooth. He slept in the stables with his beloved horses and was never known to have had a girlfriend. Charley never volunteered clues to her past. Loose fitting clothing hid her femininity and after a horse kicked her, an eye patch over one eye helped
conceal her face. She weighed 175 pounds, could handle herself in a fistfight and drank whiskey like one of the boys.

It turns out that Charley's real name was Charlotte Parkhurst. Abandoned as a child, she was raised in a New Hampshire orphanage unloved and surrounded by poverty. Charlotte ran away when she was 15 years old and soon discovered that life in the working world was easier for men. So she decided to masquerade as one for the rest of her life. The rest, as they say, is history. Well, almost..

There is one last thing. On November 3, 1868, Charlotte Parkhurst cast her vote in the national election, dressed as a man. She became the first woman to vote in the United States, 52 years before Congress passed the 19th amendment giving American women the right to vote.


Sent by
Eva Booher   EVABOOHER@aol.com   

Memorial Crosses Along Tijuana-San Diego Border

Crosses are a ubiquitous sight at the Tijuana-San Diego boundary line.
They represent the number of people who have died trying to cross into the United States.

Crosses Memorial: First installed by a migrant group on the Day of the Dead in 1998, the number of crosses started out as 340 to commemorate those who died trying to cross into the United States from 1995-1998. Activists continued to place more crosses along this road and they now number in the thousands, mirroring the number of migrants who have died trying to cross into the U.S.
At the 10th annual Marcha Migrante, an artist set up this cross at Boundary Monument #258.  September 20, 2015.   There are crosses in other parts of Tijuana along the border as well, such as these two.

Obelisk At Tijuana Roundabout

-- --

Obelisks at a Migrant Camp In Tijuana

For more on the happenings along the border, go to: http://southbaycompass.com/crosses-at-the-border/ 

‘The Deportation of Innocence’

After Jaime was deported to Tijuana, his two children were placed in foster care

When Deni Alarcon came across an article discussing how U.S.-born children in Mexico were having trouble fitting in at school, she wanted to learn more about the issue. Instead of doing a simple Google search for more articles or looking through the stacks at her local library, she did what few people dare to: she decided to make a documentary.

The 52-minute film she produced, The Deportation of Innocence, was directed by her brother Francisco who studied film directing and writing at the University of California Los Angeles Extension. Filmed for nearly three years, the documentary follows four children as their parents undergo deportation. The filmmakers spoke with lawyers, social workers, academics and priests with years of experience on the issue of family separation and reunification.

The Deportation of Innocence is currently in post-production, for which the filmmakers are looking to raise at least $6,000. So far they’ve raised $1,740 in just eight days, and there are 34 days left as of this writing.

For more information on the film and the crowdfunding campaign, visit the film’s Indiegogo page.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno
September 16, 2015 by Latino Rebels


Posted September 27, 2015 by Latino Rebels

The Refusal of Carmelita Torres


Mexican workers undergoing inspection at U.S. border

The morning of January 28, 1917, began like any other for Carmelita Torres. As she did every day, the 17-year-old juarense left her home early and made her way to the Santa Fe International Bridge spanning the Rio Grande and connecting Juárez, México to El Paso, Texas where she cleaned homes.

At the border Mexican workers were being stripped and bathed in kerosine and vinegar, their clothes and shoes steam dried, as part of a U.S. campaign to prevent a typhus epidemic from spreading to U.S. cities in the wake of an outbreak in Mexico the previous year. The gasoline mixture was used as an early insecticide to kill the lice that many Americans believed Mexicans were infested with. (In the 1920s the U.S. government would adopt the use of cyanide-based Zyklon B, which was later used by Nazi Germany in its infamous gas chambers.) Any migrant suspected of carrying lice had their head, armpits and pubic area completely shaved. Over 127,000 Mexicans were deloused at the Santa Fe International Bridge in 1917 alone.

Besides the obvious humiliation of such a procedure, Mexican women especially resented the treatment due to the discovery that they were secretly being photographed by customs agents to be displayed in local bars. Plus a few months earlier 16 prisoners being bathed with gasoline at the El Paso jailhouse were accidentally burned to death by a lit cigarette.

So, when a customs agent demanded that Carmelita Torres step off the trolley she was riding in and undergo the delousing procedure, the young lady refused, convincing 30 other women workers to join her. In an hour the number of protesters swelled to over 200, and by noon that day thousands of women had brought the traffic into El Paso to a standstill.

As author and historian David Dorado Romo writes in Ringside Seat to a Revolution:

The demonstrators marched as a group toward the disinfection camp to call out those who were submitting themselves to the humiliation of the delousing process. When immigration and public health service officers tried to disperse the crowd, the protesters hurled bottles, rocks and insults at the Americans. A customs inspector was hit in the head. Fort Bliss commander General Bell ordered his soldiers to the scene, but the women jeered at them and continued their street battle. The ‘Amazons,’ the newspapers reported, struck Sergeant J.M. Peck in the face with a rock and cut his cheek.

The protesters laid down on the tracks in front of the trolley cars to prevent them from moving. When the street cars were immobilized, the women wrenched the motor controllers from the hands of the motormen. One of the motormen tried to run back to the American side of the bridge. Three or four female rioters clung to him while he tried to escape. They pummeled him with all their might and gave him a black eye. Another motorman preferred to hide from the Mexican women by running into a Chinese restaurant on Avenida Juárez.

Carrancista General Francisco Murguía showed up with his death troops to quell the female riot. Murguía’s cavalry, known as ‘el esquadrón de la muerte,’ was rather intimidating. They wore insignia bearing a skull and crossbones and were known for taking no prisoners. The cavalrymen drew their sabers and pointed them at the crowd. But the women were not frightened. They jeered, hooted and attacked the soldiers. ‘The soldiers were powerless,’ the El Paso Herald reported.

Eventually Torres was arrested and the “Bath Riots” ended as quickly as they began. The U.S. government would continue delousing Mexican migrants at the border for another 40 years, spraying bracero workers with DDT in the late Fifties.

But Mexicans found other ways to protest the procedure, leading to rampant illegal border crossings — which were virtually unheard of before then — as many looked to enter the country while avoiding customs agents. The health department created a mounted police force to round up border crossers for delousing, and the Immigration Act of 1924 created the U.S. Border Patrol, with El Paso being the site of only the second station built in the entire country.

While her refusal didn’t spark a nationwide movement like Rosa Parks’s would four decades later, Torres remains a Latina heroine nonetheless for refusing to submit in silence to injustice and calling on her fellow Mexicans to do the same.

Remembering Torres — and the long legacy of civil disobedience against a cruel immigration system — is how we celebrate our heritage.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno pueblosenmovimientonorte@gmail.com

Chihuahua: King of NAFTA Chile
September 16, 2015 
Agriculture News

In New Mexico, the fall harvest of the state’s staple and iconic chile crop plugs along, albeit at a greatly reduced level (and with more early season red pods than usual) in comparison with even a decade ago. 

In glaring contrast, chile production just across the border in the Mexican state of Chihuahua marches forward to the tune of a pepper piper on a massive scale, supplying both the domestic Mexican and foreign export markets. 

Francisco Gomez Rodriguez, treasurer of the Chihuahua State Vegetable Sanitary Committee, told El Diario de Chihuahua that some 78,000 acres of chile are under cultivation this year in the northern Mexican border state, or about ten times the 8100 acres (7700 harvested) of peppers sown in New Mexico last year. Gomez pegged the value of the Chihuahua state crop at approximately $375 million. 
Of the planted acreage in Chihuahua, about two thirds of the chile is destined for domestic plates, while approximately one third (26,000 acres) goes to the tariff-free U.S. market, according to Gomez’s numbers. 

The export portion of the Chihuahua crop alone dwarfs New Mexico’s entire chile crop. 

Gomez said Chihuahua ranks as Mexico’s No. 1 producer of jalapeno peppers, but also grows cayenne, chilaca, serrano, guerito, and other chile varieties. Apart from the U.S., Chihuahua chile now hits Germany, France and England, he said. For the harvest, workers are drawn from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Campeche, Sinaloa and Sonora, as well as Chihuahua, the ag industry spokesman added. 

Chile farming in Chihuahua confronts challenges that include pepper weevil infestations, competition from China as well as Mexican states such as Sinaloa and Zacatecas, compliance with health and sanitary regulations required for export-quality crops, water availability and, above all, climate change. 

During the last three years, a state program known as Diapausa has facilitated applications of the insecticide Malathion in places where pepper weevils could hatch; insecticides are additionally employed during different stages of chile production and processing. Some reports indicate pesticide resistance developing among the chile-killing weevils. Pesticide usage has generated controversies. 

According to El Heraldo de Chihuahua, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detained more than 80 tons of dry Chihuahua chile during the last two years because of concerns arising from chemical applications. 

Impacted producers from the southern reaches of Chihuahua state disputed the lab information used to halt the shipments, arguing that the FDA’s actions jeopardize a local economy specializing in the production of chile chipotle, the trendy product that’s created from smoking and drying jalapenos. 

“There are many (producer) families here,” Camargo Mayor Jesus Saenz Gabaldon said earlier this year. “This is the top production zone for jalapenos.” 

In another pocket of the Chihuahua chile empire, chilaca chile growers in the municipality of Allende were facing the loss of up to half their crop this summer due to wacky weather. 

Chile farmer Alberto Mendoza said sudden temperature shifts from hot to cold, aggravated by extreme variations in precipitation, were wreaking havoc with his crop and even causing chile to “abort” as stunted pods fell off the plants before they were ripe. 

Buffering growers like Mendoza for their losses somewhat was the increase paid to chile farmers from the two or three pesos per fresh kilo of previous years to the four to six pesos reportedly paid this year. 

Chihuahua chile farming was in a state of crisis in the early to mid 1990s, a time when pepper growing reached its zenith in neighboring New Mexico. For the 1993-94 growing season, the first year of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Chihuahua chile harvest amounted to less than 22,000 acres. 

But after NAFTA took hold, Chihuahua chile farming grew by great leaps and bounds. Statistics from the federal Agriculture Secretariat’s agricultural commodity information service (SIAP) reveal a steady increase in Chihuahua chile plantings from approximately 46,000 acres in 1999 to about 80,000 acres in 2005. From 2006 to 2012, the harvest dipped, hovering around the 59,000 acre mark. 

In 2013, both planted and harvested acreage were up from 2012’s totals, while plantings in 2014 and 2015 came in at the 78,000 acre range. One media report attributed increased rainfall and greater supplies of reservoir water to the most recent surge in chile production. 

Except for 2003, 2005 and 2008, when significant crop losses were registered, SIAP’s figures for planted as opposed harvested acreage correspond closely. A 2010 product competitiveness study by the Chihuahua state government ranked chile as among the state’s five most profitable crops. 

In post-NAFTA New Mexico, on the other hand, chile acreage never topped the 34,500 acres harvested in 1992, even plummeting below the 10,000 acre mark every year after 2009, years when severe drought and restricted irrigation water deliveries also came into the picture. 

Principally, Chihuahua chile is grown in two broad swaths of Mexico’s largest state. The first zone comprises irrigation districts south of the state capital of Chihuahua City, while the second one is located in the north-central municipalities of Ahumada, Buenaventura, Casas Grandes, Janos and Ascension. The northern municipalities enjoy easy access to U.S. border crossings in New Mexico and Texas. There chile shipments can zip to processors on this side of the border. 

As in the U.S., Chihuahua and Mexican chile is grown for both the fresh and processed market, where big companies predominate. In Mexico’s case, the processing companies La Costena, San Marcos and La Morena procure a large part of the harvest. 

Additional sources: El Diario de Chihuahua, September 12, 2015. Article by Manuel Quezada Barron. El Sol de Parral, July 23, 2015. Article by Marcos Merendon. El Heraldo de Chihuahua, March 16, 2015. Article by Jesus Manuel Ruiz Sanchez. Elcomerciodecolorado.com, October 2, 2014. 

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
For a free electronic subscription
email: fnsnews@nmsu.edu


36th TX State Hispanic Genealogical & Historical Conference
Oct 2nd, 1835 - Texas Revolution begins at Gonzales
Oct 13th, 1845 -- Voters overwhelmingly approve annexation
Some History of the Gutierrez Family in Cameron County
      and Later Harlingen Compiled by Norman Rozeff
Sembradores de Aztlan Oral History Project 
Henri Castro: Empresario colonization of Republic of Texas
Foot and Wagon Bridge, Laredo, Texas, 1899
Guerrero Viejo 1980s & 1990s by Gilberto Quezada 
Preserving Early Texas History, Sept 23, Lardo Rotary Club
First Families, Lest We Forget

The 36th Texas State Hispanic Genealogical & Historical  Conference, Oct 8-10, 2015, held at the Historic La Posada Hotel, Laredo, Texas.

Mimi,   In short, the conference was superb.  
Villa de San Agustín de Laredo Genealogical Society (VSALGS) did an outstanding job as hosts. 

The more we do these conferences, the better we get to tell our story.  Indeed, our long history in what is now the U.S. is what separates us Spanish Mexican-descent U.S. citizens from our sister Hispanic groups.

Saludos,  José Antonio “Joe” López    


Conference Spotlight:

Count José de Escandón’s Villas del Norte (A String of Pearls on the Lower Rio Grande).  

Conference attendees received a wide variety of presentations involving Las Villas del Norte, key to the settlement of South Texas that up to 1848 was a part of the state of Tamaulipas.  It is a part of Texas history not well known to the general public.  Of significance is the fact that the conference also included several presenters who came from Northern Mexico to share our common heritage and re-connect family roots that have been separated since 1848.  The program also included a tour of nearby historic sites of Roma, Zapata, and San Ygnacio.   

Following is a summary of the conference theme:

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 north; 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 wanted all Europeans out of 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 of men, friend of the court, and explorer.   

With families he recruited in Queretaro, Count 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.   

For 100 years, the Villas string of pearls radiated faith in God and family unity and thrived.  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 Camargo, Reynosa, Refugio, and Dolores began building their homes, they were the only Europeans living 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 was nearly 1,500 with a combined population of over 6,000, plus nearly 3,000 Christian Native Americans.  Los Caminos del Rio greatly facilitated contact within the chain of communities.  It must be noted 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). Also, the foundation of the oldest structure on the Texas side of the Rio Grande built by European-descent settlers is located in the ruins of Dolores (the José Vasquez-Borrego Homestead).  

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.  Sadly, the Rio Grande became a permanent Mason-Dixon Line that continues to this day.   

Yet, we are still organically connected by our strong Spanish genealogy roots, language, everyday life, and most significantly, by geography.  In that sense, the water (agua) of the Rio Grande does not divide us, but unites us.  We’re as one large extended family, just as existed in Capitán Tomás Sánchez’ day, who was born in Nuevo León, origin of the initial Laredo families.  


October 2nd, 1835 - Texas Revolution 
begins at Gonzales
== =============================
October 13th, 1845 -- Voters overwhelmingly approve annexation

On this day in 1835, fighting broke out at Gonzales between Mexican soldiers and Texas militiamen. When Domingo de Ugartechea, military commander in Texas, received word that the American colonists of Gonzales refused to surrender a small cannon that had been given that settlement in 1831 as a defense against the Indians, he dispatched Francisco de Castañeda and 100 dragoons to retrieve it on September 27. Though Castañeda attempted to avoid conflict, on the morning of October 2 his force clashed with local Texan militia led by John Henry Moore in the first battle of the Texas Revolution. The struggle for the "Come and Take It" cannon was only a brief skirmish that ended with the retreat of Castañeda and his force, but it also marked a clear break between the American colonists and the Mexican government.  

On this day in 1845, the voters of the Republic of Texas approved an ordinance to accept annexation by a vote of 4,245 to 257. They also adopted the proposed state constitution by a vote of 4,174 to 312. The annexation of Texas to the United States had been a topic of political and diplomatic discussions since the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Although most Texans had been in favor of annexation and had voted for it as early as 1836, constitutional scruples, fear of war with Mexico, and the controversy of adding another slave state to the union prevented the acceptance of annexation by the United States until 1845.

Source: Texas State Historical Assn.

58 Families Listed on the 1757 Census of Revilla/Guerrero

This census was part of a report done by Captain Jose Tienda de Cuervo where he provides information on the General State of the Villas del Norte.

To read the full article click here: http://www.wearecousins.info/2014/01/

Moises Garza
Sent by Walter Herbeck 


Some History of the Gutierrez Family in Cameron County and Later Harlingen, Compiled by Norman Rozeff


In recognition of the just concluded Hispanic Heritage Month I offer the story of an Hispanic family that pioneered the development of the city of Harlingen, Texas.  

The illustrious Gutierrez family has a long history in South Texas. It began more than a century ago when Secundino Gutierrez, who was born July 1, 1850 ( another source says 1849) in Amozoc Puebla, Mexico, came north with his father Manuel. Secondino was 12 years old at the time. The move was precipitated by hardships endured by the family due to conditions of unrest prevailing in Mexico at the time. Manuel had suffered losses of horses and cattle and acts of vandalism which even included poisoning of the water for his stock.  

Once settled in Brownsville the family operated a water supply business. This likely would have meant hauling settled water obtained from the river, a resaca, cistern, or a well on a cart holding a large barrel (pipa). The wagon (carreta) would have been pulled by either an ox, a mule, donkey, or horse, or even in some instances human labor. Because there was yet to be a city system domestic water supply, homes would need daily service to replenish water supplies for cooking, washing, cleaning, and drinking uses. Naturally for the latter the water required boiling to be safely consumed.  

Secundino moved on to northern Cameron County where he worked from 1862 to 1882 at different ranches. In the 1870s he was to find the love of his life, Guadalupe Loya Loya, later to be affectionately called Mama Lupita. They would be married in 1872 by the famed Oblate missionary, Father Pierre Yves Keralum, O.M.I. This reverend is best remembered for designing a number of churches in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. (This very year in November Father Keralum disappeared while traversing west of the current Delta Lake area. His remains were not discovered until 10 years later.) The sacrament of marriage took place on El Mameado Ranch which today would be located 2.7 miles north of FM 498 on extension FM 507 or east of present-day Lyford.  

The couple settled on the La Jarita Ranch (now located on FM 1420 between Willimar and Santa Moniica). Here the couple began a large family. They had nine children. These were Manuel b. 1876, Prajeris, Felipa, Francisco 1881, Jose 1882, Petra 1884, Eugenio 1885, Guadalupe 1888, and Josefina 1889.  

The year 1890 was to see a significant change for the family, for it was this year that the family moved to a new ranch – La India. Manuel “Tatita”, the father of Secundino, was to acquire the La Crucita Ranch with  about 1,920 acres on September 9, 1882.  This property incorporated what was once three separate ranches – La Crucita, El Gigante, and La India. La Crucita was the central ranch of the three.

This area had never been in a Spanish nor Mexican land grant. It initially belonged to the State of Texas and was surrounded by land mostly designated “school land”, however the land on which the ranch sat had once been awarded by the state to the Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad Company as an incentive to construct a railroad to the area. It encompassed parts of Tracts 39, 40, 293, 294, and 295. When no railroad came to pass the state reclaimed the land and sold it. In today's geography the ranch boundaries would be Dilworth Road on its east, the Arroyo Colorado on its south, Garrett Road on its north, and Altas Palmas Road on its west.  

The southeast corner of the ranch had a historical connection. What is now Dilworth Road ran along the ranch's east side and led to a low water crossing of the arroyo and on to Turner Road leading to the Military Road. These unpaved trails provided a route to go to Brownsville. It was here, in  June of 1864 during the Civil War that Confederate troops led by Col. John Salmon “Rip” Ford crossed the Paso de Gigante low water ford and went on to Las Rucias where they decisively defeated a Union force stationed there.  

Secundino and Lupita would enlarge their family while on the ranch. Born there were Juan Francisco (Frankie) in 1893, Virginia 1897, Eloisa 1899 and Francisca, who is thought to have died as a baby.  

It was not a fortuitous time for the family to have successfully ranched. One of the many periodic droughts to affect Texas was in its birth. This drought had commenced in the late 1880s and deepened in the 1890s. The Lower Rio Grande Valley has had, in effect, 17 significant droughts in the period 1892-1992. The worst of this particular dry period in the LRGV ran from 1893 to 1902. By 1896 the grazing pastures ranched by the Gutierrez family had been totally denuded. Much of the cattle stock perished from starvation and lack of water. 

Portions of the ranch would have to be sold for the family to survive. Five sections nearly equal in east to west width would be sold over time. The east-most former Georgetown Railroad Tract 39 was acquired and platted by real estate baron F. Z. Bishop. Adjacent to it the G. S. Dorough tract was platted as the Leelands Subdivision and still later, in part, the Stuart Place Resubdivsion. Next to it the old Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad (CCSD&RGNGRR) Tract became the Dougherty & Paillet Subdivsion. The Dayton Moses Tract eventually transformed into the Stuart Place subdivision. And finally the west-most tract of the CCSD&RGNGRR became the Leelands Subdivision.  

It was in 1904 that the railroad came to the Valley and Lon C. Hill moved to develop the vast land holdings that he had purchased. The Lon C. Hill Town and Improvement Company, and later the Harlingen Land and Water Company, would become the vehicle on which Hill would develop the town of Harlingen. Key to its success would be the major canal that Hill constructed for agricultural irrigation from the river to Harlingen and then beyond.  

Perhaps, with ideas of selling the ranch, it had been surveyed in 1896 according to available records. It was in the year 1905 that many of the Secundino (Papa) Gutierrez family moved to a homestead at 313 W. Van Buren, Harlingen. Some apparently continued on the ranch until as late as 1912.  Secundino after selling the ranch closed his general store in that area and was first to commence a bakery on W. Van Buren then later open a dry goods and grocery store on W. Harrison. By 1909 son Jose is operating the store at 408W. Harrison Avenue. Secundino would have a long and fruitful life before dying in 1949.  

The accomplishments of the many Gutierrez family descendants are much too numerous to elucidate here. I shall however note two especially outstanding ones.  

Rosaura Guttierez was the daughter of Eugenio, one of Secundino's 13 children.  Maria Rosaura “Chachi” Gutierrez was born in Harlingen on January 18, 1918. After being graduated from Harlingen High School in 1938, she started her vocational career with the Eagle Loan Company. Upon the establishment of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Program on July 1, 1943, Rosaura was accepted into this program. She then attended Saint Mary's University in Leavenworth, Kansas. Wanting to expand her horizons, she wished to join the World Health Organization (WHO) as a nurse. Her father however wanted her to complete some nursing time in Harlingen. Rosaura dutifully obliged and spent the year 1952 at the Valley Baptist Hospital. She then went to work with WHO where she served as a nursing consultant, developed nursing school curriculum for nursing schools in Mexico, Central & South America and various Caribbean Islands. Furthering her education she went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Master's Degree in Public Health from Boston College. She subsequently traveled the world serving humanity in a number of third world countries. Retiring in Harlingen in 1981, Rosaura continued to contribute to the community

while actively serving on the Cameron County Historical Commission and especially by initiating its student Art History contests. She was a stalwart in researching and maintaining records of the Gutierrez family history and genealogy. Lastly it is reflected that Rosaura was deeply religious and a faithful member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Harlingen's “mother” Catholic church.  

Second Lieutenant George Gutierrez Jr. was the first-born grandson of Harlingen pioneer Eugenio and Sabas Gutierrez and the only son of Mr. and Mrs George Gutierrez Sr. His birth date was January 20, 1941. At the time of his birth his parents, George and Graciela, were living at 419 W. Van Buren Avenue. His father was employed by the Magnolia Beer Company. The younger Gutierrez was a Harlingen High School football star and student body leader. George Jr. was to be the first casualty of the Vietnam War for the City of Harlingen.  

George was in the last high school class to use the old high school on 13th Street and the first to graduate from the new high school on Marshall Street. In his sophomore year he was elected president of the Pan American Student Forum. This was highly unusual in that the forum was composed primarily of juniors and seniors. George played both baseball and football for the Cardinals in the years 1958 and 1959. In the former year, as guard for the football team, he was on the Cardinal's District Champion- ship team. He also participated in the school's Slide Rule Club.  

George was a cadet corps member while attending Texas A&M and after graduation continued on in the U.S. Army Reserve. His Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M recognized him as a graduate Civil Engineer. He was employed as a civil engineer for the California Division of Highways, Los Angeles before joining the military in April 1965. While the war began in November 1955, U.S. involvement didn't escalate until after the  Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. It was on June 8, 1965 that Second Lieutenant Gutierrez commenced his active duty after volunteering to become an Army UH1 Huey helicopter pilot. He was also qualified to fly utility and single rotor light cargo aircraft. The unit that Lt. Gutierrez took action with was the 197th Assault Helicopter Company, 145th Aviation Battalion (nicknamed “Old Warriors” and “First in Vietnam”), 12th Aviation Group.  

George spent 14 weeks training to become a helicopter pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He then spent two weeks with his family in Harlingen before going overseas.  

Within one month of being assigned to duty in Vietnam, at age 24 on September 1, 1965 Lt. Gutierrez became a war casualty when the lead helicopter he was piloting crashed after an explosion due to hostile action, near Binh Duong, 25 miles southwest of Saigon in South Vietnam. Also to die in the helicopter crash were three American soldiers and a Vietnamese observer. 

The mission of the helicopter (HU-1B tail number 63-08567) was to escort and provide cover for a road convoy. The crew had noticed suspicious activity east of the highway at Ben Cat and had approached to investigate the known VA area.  

The lieutenant's body was recovered and returned to America. He was awarded numerous military honors including  the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.  

Lt. Gutierrez was not married and left no heirs. Following a solemn service at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, of which George was a member, he was interred in Mont Meta Memorial Cemetery north of San Benito, Texas.  

On October 15, 1980  Diaz Park at 500 W. Harrison Avenue between C and D Streets was renamed the Lt. George Gutierrez Park in honor of the Vietnam hero. The park's amenities on its two acres consist of picnic areas, benches, playground and bandstand.   

It was on November 13, 1996  that the School Board named the new middle school at 3205 W. Wilson Road the Lt. George Gutierrez Jr. Middle School.


Sembradores de Aztlan Oral History Project 

September 9, 2015, Houston, Texas:
 Sembradores de Aztlan Oral History Project, a collaborative project of Museo Guadalupe Aztlan and Chicano/a Studies Network of Houston, Texas, completed two live interviews yesterday, uncovering rarely-discussed Chicano history. One interview included Robert Aguilar at his home in Waco, Texas, and the focus was on his assistant directorship with Juarez-Lincoln University (defunct), Austin, Texas. On the same day, Gilbert Rivera was met at his home in Austin, Texas where the interview covered topics such as (1) his participation with the organization Chicanos Against Military Intervention in Latin American; (2) his founding of the Austin, Texas chapter of the Brown Berets; and (3) his documentary filming of the the physical demolishing of Juarez-Lincoln University, Austin, Texas and the Ku Klux Klan march in the same city. Both video documentaries were shot in the early 1980's.   

 To date, Sembradores de Aztlan Oral History Project has completed over fifty interviews with persons who were involved in the Chicana and Chicano movement of the the 60s and 70'. 

Sent by Roberto Calderon
Source and more information: Jesus Cantu Medel, chano6_@hotmail.com or 713.231.4037 cell. 


Henri Castro 
Empresario colonization of the Republic of Texas
Received two grants, totaling 1,850,000 acres

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henri Castro 
Born July 1786
Bayonne, France 
Died November 3, 1865 (aged 79)
Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico 
Resting place St. Louis Cemetery
Castroville, Texas 
Ethnicity Jewish, Portuguese 
Known for Empresario colonization of the Republic of Texas 
Religion Jewish 
Spouse(s) Amelia Mathias 
Henri Castro (1786 – November 3, 1865), a Jewish Texan, was one of the most important empresarios of the Republic of Texas.

Early life: Castro, who was born in Bayonne, France, was a French diplomat of Portuguese-Jewish descent. He later immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen in 1827. In 1838, he worked as a banker in France and sought to secure a loan for the young Republic of Texas. He was then appointed as consul general for Texas by President Sam Houston. He recruited hundreds of families for emigration to Texas. Most came primarily from the Haut-Rhin region of Alsace, in northeastern France. They traveled to Texas from 1843 to 1847 and settled in the Medina River valley, just west of San Antonio. The city of Castroville on the Medina River is named for him, as is Castro County in the Texas Panhandle. Castro himself settled for a time in Castroville.

Republic of Texas land grants [edit] The Republic of Texas issued colonization land grants with individuals, conditional upon said individuals establishing settlements in a stated geographical area of Texas. The grants were limited to a given time period in which colonization had to take place.[1]

On February 15, 1842, Castro, in temporary partnership with Jean Jassaud, was issued two land grants by the Republic of Texas. The grants were for the colonization of 600 families (with an option to increase that number to 1000) in three years. The first 200 families had to be settled by August 15, 1843.[2] One grant was approximately 600,000 acres, near what is now Starr County, along the Rio Grande. Castro would not be seen fulfilling the colonization of this grant. The other grant totaled 1,250,000 acres, west of San Antonio and included the counties of Atascosa, Frio, La Salle, Medina, and McMullen. This second grant would result in what came to be known as Castro's Colony.[3]

Castro began recruiting from an office in Paris in 1842 and the first of his recruits sailed into the port of Galveston, Texas, on January 1, 1843. In the fall of 1843, Castro recruits in Alsace,Baden, and Switzerland. Waves of his colonists departed for Texas in the winter of 1843 and spring of 1844. Castro left Europe for Texas on May 19, 1844, by way of New Orleans. He made it to San Antonio in July 1844 to meet with the colonists and was escorted by the Texas Rangers to inspect his land grant. The first of Castro's colonists arrived at the land on September 2, 1844.[4]

A grant covering 3,878,000 acres over 5,000 square miles, went to Henry Francis Fisher andBurchard Miller. On June 7, 1842, Fisher[5] and Miller[6] received a colonization land grant to settle 1,000 immigrant families of German, Dutch, Swiss, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian ancestry. The grant was issued as the Fisher-Miller Land Grant. Fisher and Miller were also unsuccessful in colonization efforts, but they were able to get their deadline extended. On June 26, 1844, they sold the grant to the Adelsverein. Henry Fisher was made part of the Verein colonial committee.

For more details on this topic, see Fisher-Miller Land Grant.
On July 3 and July 6, 1842, two land grants were issued to Alexander Bourgeois d'Orvanne and Armand Ducos, for colonization of 1,700 families along the Uvalde, Frio and Medina rivers.[7][8] On April 7, 1844, after their colonization efforts proved fruitless, Bourgeois and Ducos sold their grant to the Adelsverein, conditional on making Alexander Bourgeois d'Orvanne the Colonial Director. Unfortunately, the grant had already expired and Bourgeois was unable to get the deadline for colonization extended.

Foot and Wagon Bridge, Laredo, Texas, 1899

Sent by Ernesto Palacios ernestopalacios3172@icloud.com 
Forwarded by Walter Herbeck tejanos2010@gmail.com 

Guerrero Viejo (Tamaulipas) in the 1980s and 1990s
by Gilberto Quezada 

Hello Mimi,

Jo Emma and I made six trips to Guerrero Viejo (Tamaulipas) in the 1980s and 1990s. We made three by boat, which took only about twenty minutes, and we hired a guide to take us, wait for us, and then bring us back to Zapata. The other three were by car, going from Zapata to Falcon Heights, cross Falcon Dam to Guerrero Nuevo and then travel on la carretera 2 to a marked spot where we turned left to Guerrero Viejo. This trip by land took 2 1/2 hours one way! Our purpose was for Jo Emma to take photographs, which she did. She took two or three photographs of each building and every nook and cranny. Needless to say, Jo Emma has an extensive photographic collection. Her photographs are priceless because who dares to go there now with all the drug cartel problems.

Many of the old buildings, especially those located from the Río Salado going north to the Hotel Flores, about five streets, are completely destroyed because they were inundated in 1954, and in subsequent floodings. And, that was as high as the reservoir went, up to the Hotel Flores on Calle Obregon. Whenever flooding occurs on the Río Salado, about seven streets north from where the Hotel Flores is located were never in danger in 1954, and are not in danger of getting flooded now. However, some of these buildings have been destroyed by the ravages of time, weather conditions, mesquite and other trees and tree roots, and the abundance of cacti. Consequently, some of the walls have been knocked down and trees and other shrubbery conceal the once colorful plastered walls.

Remnants of the mission at Guerrero Viejo are still standing next to Nuestra Señora del Refugio Catholic Church. When we were doing research on Guerrero Viejo a few decades ago, I went to Our Lady of the Lake University to check their Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Collection on microfilm and see what I could find.
 I found a wealth of information on the mission, whose name was San Francisco de Solano, and the first Franciscan to serve the mission was Fray Miguel de Santa María, from the Franciscan College de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas. I also found correspondence on the establishment of the mission, reports concerning the mission field, financial records and the need for funds, census charts, and decrees by the Viceroy for the foundation of settlements and missions in the Seno Mexicano.

Edward Bravo, my brother-in-law, standing next to a boveda ( burial vault or crypt) 
at the old cemetery

One of these days, I hope to put my research notes together and write an essay for a scholarly journal on the Mission of San Francisco de Solano.

We are standing outside La Aduana (custom house). 
L-R: Gilberto, Belinda Bravo, Ana María Casso Bravo (my mother-in-law), and Jo Emma.
We are standing in front of the José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara's house.
L-R: Edward Bravo, Belinda Bravo, Jo Emma, and Gilberto
We are standing outside the huge walls of El Parián (meat market). 
L-R: Edward Bravo, Belinda Bravo, Jo Emma, and Gilberto 

Click on the website below. The document, however, contains a few minor errors on Page 20. The dates 1550, 1553, and 1573 should be 1750, 1753, and 1773 respectively.

Gilberto Quezada 

Preserving Early Texas History
September 23, Lardo Rotary Club

L to R: Armengol Guerra, Jose Antonio Lopez, Juanita Lira, President, 
Juan Lira, former President  Photo courtesy of Cordelia Dancause Lopez

Mimi, the saying goes that God puts people in your path for a reason. It was while attending my wife Cordy’s 50th St. Augustine High School class reunion recently that one of her classmates, Juanita Rocha Lira, learned of our mission in life.  Thus, as the President of the Laredo Rotary Club, she graciously asked us to speak to her outstanding large group of Laredo business leaders.  Their very excellent hospitality at their September 23, 2015 meeting was awesome. 

Saludos,  Joe López 

Early Texas History Presentation.

This presentation reviews early Texas history (pre-1836) people, places, and events.  Foremost, it recognizes the dual heritage tracks of the early Spanish Mexican pioneer settlers of Texas. That is, their origins are both Old World (Spanish) and New World (Mexican/Native American).   

Two common questions are asked whenever we visit with audiences of diverse backgrounds – school campuses, genealogy/history societies, civic and patriotic groups, et al: (a) “Why haven’t we ever heard of these things before?” and (b) “Why isn’t this being taught to our children in the classroom?”  It is in working to resolve those two basic questions that motivates us to continue to share and preserve early Texas history. As such, the following summary deals with basically five themes that most people in the general public are unaware of.   

(l) Texas was born in 1691 when Domingo Terán de los Ríos was named the first Governor of Texas. (For the record, there were 30 Spanish-surnamed Texas governors from 1691-1821.)  Texas was initially settled in the early- to mid-1700s by people living in population centers in central and northern Mexico; early Texas pioneer families traveling on the Camino Real were the first to settle communities “Deep in the Heart of Texas” (San Antonio, Nacogdoches, La Bahia/Goliad, and Las Villas del Norte in Nuevo Santander/Tamaulipas);

(2) Count José de Escandón’s establishment of over 20 communities on both sides of the Lower Rio Grande (Las Villas del Norte). Many Spanish-surnamed Texans trace their family roots to the Villas.  Unfortunately, most Texas school children are unaware of Count Escandón’s accomplishments;

(3) The importance of Compañias Volante (the First Texas Rangers) and their vital roles in protecting pioneer settlers of early Texas; also discussed are the origins of the vaquero/vaquera heritage in South Texas;

(4) Most importantly, Texas residents under the leadership of Lt. Colonel José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara, born and raised in Villa Revilla, quickly responded to Father Miguel Hidalgo’s “Grito” and brought about Texas independence in 1813.

This key event explains why it is that Sam Houston took over a work in progress. An important related event of this early independence movement is that Mexico was the first country in America to abolish slavery in 1829. Sadly, with Texas independence in 1836, freed Black families in Texas were put in bondage once more until 1865; and,

(5) Several positive actions are being taken today, such as the unveiling in 2012 of the Tejano Monument in Austin, the first memorial in our state’s capital honoring the Spanish Mexican-descent pioneer settlers of Texas.  It is a fitting tribute, because after all, “Texas history without Tejanas and Tejanos is like a story with no beginning”.  The ultimate goal?  Incorporate into Texas classroom curricula the story of our ancestors, founders of this great place we call Texas.  

In addition to the presentation, we also offered a display table with items of historical value.  When we say we’re of Spanish Mexican-descent Texans, it must be understood that we are not a one-dimensional people.  Here’s what’s involved (Left to right of the articles on the table shown in the picture are as follows): (l) we honor our 10,000+ years of Native Americanism by showing several stone tool artifacts; (2) Most of us are descendants of Spanish Mexican pioneers, developers of the cowboy/cowgirl way of life in Texas; who came from central Mexico (e.g., Monterrey).  It’s through our Monterrey link, many of us are Sephardic Jewish descendants and so, two items are shown, a menorah and a shofar; and (3) a picture of José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara Uribe, 1st Texas President, a son of bi-national Guerrero/Zapata (Las Villas del Norte). 


Macintosh HD:Users:carrieperez:Desktop:Picture 13.png  

Juana Navarro Veramendi  
Peres Alsbury And the Women Of The Alamo

By Dorothy M. Perez and Rueben M. Perez


The following article is based on an oral presentation made at the Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig Museum at Austin, Texas.  The presenters were SAGHS First Families of Bexar County Honorees Dorothy M. Perez (#78) and her brother Rueben M. Perez (#79) discussing and honoring their ancestral family members who were present at the Battle of the Alamo. 

Edited and adapted by Larry Luckett

            When we were fifth graders in elementary school at San Antonio we had classes in Texas History.  For a young person it was pretty exciting learning about Texas History and the Battle of the Alamo.   However, we felt something was wrong, as the picture from the stories that we heard at home was different from what the teacher and the books were saying.  We would accompany our mother, Adelina Casillas Carrola Perez, when she would pick up our father, George Newton Perez, from work at the Post Office directly across the street from the Alamo.  He would always say, “Over there is where your great great grandmother and great grandfather were during the Battle of the Alamo.”  Yet, that was not what we were hearing at school.  There they would only talk about Susanna Dickinson and her daughter as survivors of the Alamo, and in passing mention there were also “Mexican women and children.”  It was not until much later in life that we would come to know those other women and children of the Alamo and come to appreciate our heritage even more.   One of those women is our great-great-grandmother, Juana Navarro Veramendi Peres Alsbury.1.

               All together, there were six members of our extended family inside the Alamo: Juana Navarro, her baby Alejo E. Peres, her sister, Gertrudis, Juana’s husband, Dr. Horace Alsbury (a messenger from the Alamo who was there earlier but not present when it fell, her brother in-law James Bowie, and her brother-in-law, Manual Peres, a soldier in the Mexican Army force attacking the Alamo.  As we honor and tell the story of Juana, we must not forget the other brave women and children of the Alamo. From the little Villa of San Fernando and the Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, Province of Texas, the Republic of Mexico, the words “Remember the Alamo” were heard around the world.   The call for independence was once again heard in Texas in 1836, as it had been earlier in Texas in connection to Mexico’s struggle for independence from Spain.  One of the largest battles that occurred on Texas soil was the Battle of Medina, south of San Antonio on 18 August 1813, when over 1,800 Spanish Royalist forces under Joaquin de Arredondo defeated the 1,500 rebels of the so-called “Republican Army of the North” led by Colonel Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara.  With the exception of a few who escaped, those Republicans not killed on the battlefield were captured and returned to Bexar and executed at Military Plaza in San Antonio.  The remaining bodies lay on the battlefield without a burial for nine years.

            More lives were lost in this one battle than were lost during the entire struggle for Texas Independence some 23 years later.2 Little is ever mentioned about the over 300 women who after the battle of Medina were rounded up in Bexar, accused of having relatives supporting the rebel cause.  They were imprisoned, humiliated, and enslaved in La Quinta (the Curbelo house) for 54 days.3  Many suffered daily lashes, forced to work making tortillas for the soldiers while their children were in the streets begging for food.  The price was steep for the women whose husbands were lost in the battle or were captured and executed.  Many families fled and later had their homes confiscated for not being loyal to the Spanish Crown. 

            Twenty-three years later, this scenario was to be repeated. Brave men and women would help forge the history of Texas at the Battle of the Alamo.  We must tell their stories, become their voices, and remember their heroic efforts.  Our brave patriots made supreme sacrifices during the trying and turbulent times in our state’s history. Many of our ancestors played an important role in the quest for Independence of Texas, from which we gained the freedom and opportunity that we still enjoy in our country today.   Yet after 175 years, the brave women and children who survived the battle remain largely unknown, unsung, and unhonored.  Those who fought and died at the Alamo have become legendary heroes, and the siege and battle of the Alamo mean many things to many people—for those of us who are direct descendants, that page in history becomes personally meaningful. 

            During the first meeting of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association in 1995, inside of the Alamo Chapel, the grandson of Alejo Perez, the youngest survivor and the last to die in 1918, stepped up to the podium to give the opening prayer.

Alamo Church PDF

With tears in his eyes, his voice quivering and unable to conclude the prayer, this person had been born just early enough to know as a child his grandfather, an Alamo survivor.  The distance of time seemed suddenly much shorter, as there stood a person who knew someone who had been at the 1836 battle.  It was as close as most of us would ever be to the people and the event.  That person was our father, George Newton Perez.          

Over a hundred seventy-five years ago the fall of 
the Alamo ended in tragedy with 189 brave 
defenders lying dead.  

After thirteen days the final massacre within the 
walls ended on Sunday 6 March 1836.  It 
remained in the minds and hearts of all of those 
who survived the ordeal at the Alamo to tell of 
their experiences.  

Only a few on the Texas side would remember 
the sound of the Mexican bugle call—the 
, the order for “death without mercy”
—and live to tell about it.

Frightened, scared, and facing the unknown, 
their lives would be changed
on that fateful day.  
We must not forget the Alamo defenders or the 
women and children who survived. Their stories 
will be the voices of our ancestors.


Juana Navarro Peres Alsbury 
Susanna Dickinson  
Angelina Elizabeth Dickinson
Ana Salazar Esparza    
Enrique Esparza                    
Francisco Esparza                  
Manuel Esparza                     
Maria de Jesus Castro  Esparza  
Petra Gonzales 
Concepcion Charli Losoya         
Juan Losoya 
Juana Losoya Melton 
Gertrudis Navarro                 
Alejo Peres 
Bettie, a Slave  
Victoriana De Salinas and Three 
Andrea Castañón Villanueva 
(Madam Candelaria)            

 24 Years Old 
 22 Years Old
15 Months Old
33 Years Old
 8 Years Old 
 3 Years Old   

 5 Years Old 
 10 Years Old  

  57 Years Old     
20 Years Old 
20 Years Old 
11 Months Old 
Daughters ? 
50 Years Old 

There were women and children at the Alamo, a dozen or so of them.  To this day, no one knows exactly just how many or who they all were.  What we do know is that their lives were all changed.

            On this special occasion, we honor a noted Tejana woman and Alamo survivor, Juana Navarro Veramendi Peres Alsbury.  As we do, she will represent all of the brave women whose lives are a part of the rich heritage and history of our State.

            Juana’s family came from afar, over the dusty trails of Texas, to carve a place in the history of San Antonio and Texas.  Her father, José Ángel Navarro, was a lieutenant in the Spanish Army and in 1832 was a signer of the “Bexar Remonstrance,” a list of grievances from the Bexar government requesting the central government of Mexico to re-allow immigration from the United States and to separate Texas from Coahuila. He served as or  (Mayor) of Bexar from 1821, when he read the proclamation of Mexican independence from Spain, up to December 1835, prior to the fall of the Alamo.6.

               On the deaths of her parents Juana had been legally adopted by the Governor of Texas, Juan Martin Veramendi, whose daughter, Ursula Veramendi (Juana’s stepsister), would be the wife of James Bowie.  Juana’s great uncle, Francisco Ruiz, was one of the only two native Texans to sign the Declaration of Independence of Texas, and her uncle, José Antonio Navarro, was the only man to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence and two Texas Constitutions, in 1836 that for the Republic of Texas, and in 1846 that for the newly annexed State of Texas.7.

            Juana Navarro was born on 28 December 1812 in Villa de San Fernando de Bexar to parents José de los Ángel Navarro and Concepcion Cervantes Peres.  The time was during a period of unrest for the settlers of New Spain and the Provincia of Texas.   The American colonies had gained their independence from the British, now the Spanish Colonies were seeking their freedom and independence from Spain.   Shortly after Juana’s birth, storm clouds gathered.  Her father, although in the Spanish Army, was discharged for taking the revolutionary side of independence.  Shortly after Juana’s birth, the Battle of Medina occurred south of San Antonio.  The lives of Texas residents would become chaotic—a schism would divide their loyalty, as some would continue the quest for freedom. 

            The changing winds in the quest for freedom in the new world ravaged the citizens of Bexar.  Many fled before the Battle of Medina and later returned to find their homes and property confiscated.  Juana was five years old when her father separated from her mother who was no longer able to care for the children.  He took Juana to live at the Veramendi Palace, home of his sister Maria Josefa Navarro Veramendi, wife of Juan Martín Veramendi, Governor of the Province of Texas.  They adopted Juana as their own, and she would grow up with her stepsister, Ursula Navarro Veramendi.   The Veramendi’s Palace backed up on the banks of the San Antonio River, and many stately guests and dignitaries would be entertained at the Veramendi’s home.  The aristocratic Spanish and Mexican officials held formal events at the Palace, events that included the newly arrived Anglo-Texans.  Frederick C. Chabot has said, “If the walls of the Veramendi Palace had ears, and the walls of the Veramendi House had also a mouth to talk, they could tell stories of romance and war, of sieges and battles, intrigues and death more interesting, if possible, than a bound volume of Texas siftings [tales]."8

Veramendi Palace PDF SGHS

            The childhood and adolescent life for the girls was good as they grew.  As children, they would play on the back porch of the Governor’s Palace, and cool off in the San Antonio River during the extreme heat.  One can well imagine the many nights when as adolescents, the girls whispered to each other about their new loves. Both Ursula and Juana would fall in love and marry their loves; Ursula Veramendi married James Bowie, and Juana, married Alejo Peres, both wedding ceremonies in San Fernando Cathedral.  Juana’s marriage certificate identified her as Dona Maria Juana de Beramendi, adopted daughter of Don Juan de Beramendi and Dona Maria Josefa Navarro.  Later a child would be born to Juana; his name was Alejo de la Encarnacion Peres. The storm clouds would soon again ravage the land and the people, this time, not war but cholera.  The days ahead for Juana would be some of the most difficult she experienced in her life. Tragedy would strike the Veramendi family–Juana lost her adopted parents, her stepsister, Ursula, and later her husband, due to cholera. 

            In October 1835, Juana with little Alejo, who less than a year old, would witness the Siege of Bexar — Texas had begun the struggle for independence.   This time the foe was not Spain, but the Republic of Mexico.   Amidst the revolutionary fervor, Juana married her second husband, Dr. Horace Arlington Alsbury, in January 1836.   The winter storm clouds gathered as the air turned colder, further turmoil would mount, and the Battle of the Alamo would soon occur. <