Sunday, November 14, 2010

Literacy, Legacy, and the Latino Community

Latino Heritage has been around fro 12 years. Those who have been aware of our work have thought of us as parade people. And we are. But we have also been about classes, lectures, and workshops that share something of the local Latino experience and history in places throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Our moderator was KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzmán López pictured here with our panelist Manuel Contreras. Both were wonderful throughout the evening which began with a mixer, panel session followed, and then there was time for book signings and informal conversations.
Pictured below are Randy Jurado Ertll, Victor Cass, Sandra Gutierrez, and me (r to l).

But the best part of the evening was having audience members, especially students, talking with the authors. Author Thelma Reyna is seen here in an informal exchange with a student. That interaction between generations is one of the ways of making sure that a legacy is developed among those of us who are a part of the Latino community.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Literacy, Legacy, and the Latino Community

Please join this groundbreaking gathering of authors who live and work in Pasadena.
We will also be acknowledging Manuel Piñeda and Elías Galván, authors who have written about Pasadena and about their lives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dias de los muertos

Traditionally Días de lo muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd; a time to remember those who have a been a part of our lives. It is a tradition that comes from the Maya and the Aztecs combined with 16th century Roman Catholic traditions. The dead are remembered, favorite items are shared; a toy for a child, whisky or coffee for an adult. A favorite picture of the departed.

This ofrenda was presented by the La Pintoresca library staff and includes traditional elements. The spirits return to partake of the spiritual portions, the living often enjoy the tangible portions. To help the spirits quench their thirst water is included. To help light the way candles are lit. To help guide the spirits, marigolds are placed in vases on the ofrenda and on the pathway that leads to the grave of the departed or home. Food or drink is shared. The nature of the ofrenda is set by the pocketbooks of the surviving.

The students, staff, and parents of St. Mark's Episcopal School made this altar. The pan de muerto, bread baked for this holiday, is visible. Pictures of saints and of the dead can be seen. The elements are traditional, the form can be a means of creative expression. Often skeletons or skulls are included reminding us that death is always close and that it need not be feared.

Also acknowledged is the Mexica (Aztec) tradition that there are three deaths.

The first death is when our bodies cease to function; when our hearts no longer beat of their own accord.

The second death comes when the body is lowered into the ground.

The third death, the most definitive death, is when we are lost from memory.

Nothing can be done about the first two deaths. The last death is delayed by remembering those who came before.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2011 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica, the planning begins

Do you have suggestions for a theme for 2011 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica?

An idea for an era or topic for us to focus on?

Ideas for curriculum that would enhance students participation?

Leave suggestion here or at

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Latino Heritage and Latino Heritage parade & jamaica

Latino Heritage is, to my knowledge, one of the very few organizations that was begat by a parade. Because of that you may be familiar with of our two logos.

Our organizational logo reflects the fine art of papel picado and is based on work done by local artist Liz Espinoza. It is a nod to our heritage, the arts, culture, and experiences of Latinos in the San Gabriel Valley.

The rose is ever present in Pasadena so we had to include it in our logo since our work has been so connected with that fine city.

Our children's logo is actually older than our organizational logo.
Remember the comment about the parade being the foundation of our organization? Well, the image of these young people were a part of our work from the start.

Those of us who worked on the very first parade wanted to be sure that the children that were in our logo carried some of the sense of how diverse we are as a community and how diverse we hoped our audience would be.

Over time we have come to use the parade and jamaica logo for program or projects that are directed toward children and papel picado logo for events more directed toward and adult audience.

Both logos represent a dedication to promoting knowledge of the Latino experience and history through cultural and educational programs and projects.

Friday, October 15, 2010

September 15 - October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month

I usually try to make the entries of Latino Heritage and Pasadena Latina different. Some days that is really easy.

Today is an exception.

I've just come back from JPL where Astronaut José Hernaández spoke to an auditorium of students, staff, and community members. I fall into that last category.

Astronaut Hernández spoke for about an hour beginning by sharing how he came to be a part of our space program. He spoke of his family's journey from Michoacan, MX to Stockton and back again. OF the fact that his parents had a 3rd grade education and that they stressed the value of education in their family. Of the three things about space that spoke to him and reinforced his ganas to get into the program. He applied 12 times - the 12th time being the one where he finally read the word "yes".

And then we had a chance to share an astronaut's view of flight into space. The group gathered has a chance to see Astronaut Daniel Olivas who has been at our parade and jamaica. It was exciting throughout; beginning with the mission patch complete with accent - Hernández. Seeing tortillas in space was fun.

After the talk as people were gather around him for a picture there drew near a fellow with his three sons. I asked the father what grade his sons were in. It was clear after the second try that English was not his native language. I asked in Spanish what grade the boys were in and he answered, "Kindergarten, primero, y segundo". I couldn't help but recognize something of Astronaut Hernández's father in the gentleman who brought the boys to meet a man who might help define their future.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Literacy, Legacy, and the Latino Community

Please save the evening of

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

6:00 - 8:00 P.M.

Pasadena Central Library, Donald R. Wright Auditorium

Spend an evening with 6 local Latino writers

Victor Cass

Manuel Contreras

Randy Jurado Ertll

Sandra Gutierrez

Roberta H. Martinez

Thelma Reyna

Social mixer and refreshments

Author’s panel discussion

Question and answer with the audience

Book signing

Monday, October 11, 2010

What had 2,000 legs, 2,000 arms and 1,000 smiles?

The folks in the 2010 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica is the answer to the question. For the next week there will be periodic posts the Latino Heritage parade & jamaica facebook wall. Then you'll be able to find all updates on the Latino Heritage wall.

Save the evening of November 10 for a gathering of local Latino authors. Pasadena Central Library, Donald R. Wright Auditorium.

Ah, who are the good people in this photo. None other than Manuel Contreras and his family. Manny is one of the co-founders of the Pasadena Mexican American History Association, Uni-Vets, and has been editing the Memorabilia of Pasadena. His exhibit was on display at the jamaica.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2010 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica

Ivan Bautista is on his way to OxnardHis work with this loom and the fact that he was under a treeGave our jamaica a feel that warm and welcomingThis memory is one of many that was made today.More soon, tonight I'm digesting sweet memories and really good food.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Patience everyone

That is the total of parade participants.
Not including anyone that may be riding in a car.
This number is a surprise to all of us who have been planning the event.

So... here is additional information you'll find useful.
1.Only one person should check in with your group @ 9 a.m.

2. Please stay together as a group once you are all together.

3. You are in a residential area. Be especially considerate of our neighbors. They permit us to be on their street - be careful with anything on their property.
Contact person for Check in is Rosamaria.

All of that worry and detail out of the way, we're so looking forward to seeing you march proudly down Los Robles and Washington.
Enjoy the day it will be beautiful.
Enjoy being together with your community!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes the number says it all

Please be patient with us and with each other on Saturday.
We've grown by about 200 this year.
We have new groups that are joining us and a couple of small changes. Your group can help us by keeping in mind -
1. Please keep in formation until you are in the park. With this many parade participants we will need to have the line moving all the way into the park. I
IF your group stops you potentially will be stopping several hundred folks from getting to the rest of their family or group.
1.We will be giving tickets to Entry Leaders for water for those who are in the parade. If you do not give us a number in your group by tomorrow noon we will not have tickets, or water for you.
2. Water will be available in the park and will be given to you. 1 ticket = 1 bottle of water for parade participants.
With this much water please be sure to recycle. Recycle boxes are available, please, please use them.
3. We will all have a really good time is we work with each other.

Dona Eulalia Award - Abelardo de la Peña

Our community service award is the Abelardo de la Peña. He is the founder of; a site where the multitude of Latino thoughts, expressions, events, and more can be found.

Like many who are committed to their community Don Abelardo does his work with grace, sincerity, and a couple of chuckles thrown in for good measure. His version of Latino LA, is not stopped at any boarder - you really can find info beyond the 6th Street bridge - in either direction.

In addition to his work at he has been active with others at the Mexican Cultural Institute at Calle Olvera. So you may have benefitted from his work even though you might not know have known his name. Gracias por todod, Don Abel.

Here is his bio as it will appear in our printed program -

Abelardo de la Peña, Jr. is the editor and founder of, the Web site dedicated to Southern California’ arts,

entertainment, culture and community. He was born in Long Beach

and grew up in Wilmington; his parents came from Jalísco, Mexico.

Out of high school, de la Peña served in the U.S. Army during the

Viet Nam War era.

On the development of de la Peña has shared that

he chose the term “Latino” because the large numbers of Latinos in

Los Angeles are from so many different countries. That makes L.A.

the center of the Latino universe, simply by sheer numbers. Rather

than exclude any group, LatinoLA says it all. “We are all Latinos, we

are all proud, beautiful people, and our points of view need no

defining. We know where we're coming from...and now we're letting

the world in on that!"

- Daniel Olivas, “La Bloga”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

At Home in Chihuahuita

Pictured here is the Contreras family. The little boy in the cab is Manuel Contreras one of the founders of the Pasadena Mexican American History Association. The history of his family in Pasadena is one of many that are shared by this proud group. It is they who worked to have the first plaque commemorating Latinos in Pasadena placed in Villa Parke.
Canto Robledo merits an entry dedicated to him solely - more on him in a future date.
In the meantime, when you come to La Pintoresca Library and Park following the parade go to the technology room.
There you will see a documentary that shares some of what it was like to live in the Pasadena area during the 1940s. This documentary is cobbled from 16 mm film that was shot in the area at that time. We are lucky that Manny's uncle gave the film to him, that Manny shared the film with Latino Heritage, and that now, we can share this film with you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Printed program cover art

We chose to have our logo as part of our printed program this year because we wanted to highlight the diversity within our community.
When Yvonne Ruiz designed our logo, many years ago, it was our intent to have a group that reflected multiple heritages. There are those of us who have no idea of our roots and others who can share specifics. Many of us have roots that reach to Asia, Africa, Europe and the indigenous cultures of Meso America.
Our children reflect that in the way they look. I suspect if the children in the logo could talk some would speak only Spanish, some only English, and some would be comfortable with variations on Spanglish. There would also be those whose parents spoke another language.
Thanks to Liz Espinoza for adding the papel picado frame which is based on a lace pattern. It helps to draw our eyes back to our children, which is in so many ways, our continuing mission.

Latino Heritage printed program "Welcome" to jamaica

Our America.

We originally chose this theme as we were thinking of two profound anniversaries occurring this year. The 200th anniversary of the independence from Spain that took place throughout most of Latin America, and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, events that changed the history of the Western Hemisphere of the world. And forever changed the lives of all who lived in the United States.

The images and sounds of the Mexican Revolution have informed much of the visual and musical arts of the twentieth century. The Adelita leaving the train, the corrido, dichos, the home arts - crochet, tatting, or knitting. Even the mariachi and conjunto music are related to this time. And to the heritage of many of the children who are at the jamaica. These were images and individuals that had an impact on the lives of their families, no matter which side of the border they lived on.

Those who lived in the Sonora or Chihuahuita areas of Pasadena also had a chance to learn about Raggedy Ann, about Pollyana, and about the games that were played locally. While the parents or grandparents may have known about what life was like in another country in the 19th century, the children of the Pasadena learned what is was like to live in the United States in the 20th century. All valuable, all remarkable, and all a part of Our America.

On behalf of Latino Heritage and the Latino Heritage parade and jamaica Committee I invite you to enjoy yourself as you enjoy the arts, cultural experiences, heritage and history that will surround you.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Community Grand Marshal Ruth Cervera

Ruth Cervera grew up in "Little Valley"and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. She grew up in a family that knew the value of a dollar, but also knew the value of sharing what you have with others. Where moving ahead was a good thing as long as you had a hand extended to others to follow you and share good fortune.

She met, and then married, Emilio "Hip" Cervera, after graduation. In time they had 5 children all of whom went through PUSD. While they were attending school Mrs. Cervera was actively involved; at one time she was Room Mother for 4 different classes. And she was heavily involved in PTA .
She, her husband, and other parents responded to the social and political changes that were taking place in the late 60s. This contributed to their decision to recognize the unique needs of Chicano students; they established summer sessions where curriculum reflected the experiences of the students' families and histories. Mr. Cervera became the first Director of El Centro de Acción Social.

When the youngest child in the family was attending college, Mrs. Cervera began a career in libraries. She began as a Library Aid, by 1978 completed here Associate of Arts degree and was working in the Pasadena Public Library system. She found that books and education were her passion. It is with that passion that she continues to encourage family members and acquaintances to get the best education possible and to give back to community.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Conjunto Los Pochos is coming to the jamaica!

Their performance of conjunto music will make you tape your feet and get up and dance!
They were a hit at the Fiestas Patrias and now they will share their musical gifts at the jamaica.
They'll perform at 1:30.
To learn more about this great group and conjunto music -

Entry leaders

Greetings to each of our participating groups. We are thrilled that you will be joining us.

A quick reminder that there are two times that we will be meeting with you next Saturday.
The first is when you arrive and check in. The second is for our Entry Leaders meeting.
Please have just one or two persons, responsible adults, come to these meetings.

Also at the end of the parade please keep your group walking into La Pintoresca as a group. Water for the group participants will be in the park.

If you have not given us a number of participants we can not calculate your group size and will not have water for your group.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Community Grand Marshal Elías Galván

So how do you define community? So many ways, including folks that gather together for a shared experience. October 9th over 600 folks in Pasadena will be a part of our parade.
This year we have two Community Grand Marshals; two individuals who were, and are, dedicated to education and literacy. Elías Galván and Ruth Cervera are this year's Grand Marshals.
Daughter Sharon Viadaure writes - Eliás Galván was raised in a traditional Mexican American family in the small rural village of Central, New Mexico which is nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains of the State.

In his desire to attend college he moved his growing family to Los Angeles, California in 1953. He began teaching in 1959 in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has taught elementary, junior high, high school, and adult school and college level classes.

He, his wife Helen, and eight surviving children live in Pasadena, California. A middle daughter died in 2003 from the effects of Down syndrome.

Eliás graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, began teaching and participated in developing the program “Un Adventura Espanol” in the city of Pasadena. He was instrumental in developing and initiating English as a second language for the youngsters of Pasadena. In addition he served as Principal of John Muir High School.

In addition, he produced a television program that could provide Spanish speaking parent’s information that could help them to understand how the public school could help these parents help their students be successful in school. The television program was called, “Know Your Schools”; in Spanish, “Conozcan Sus Escuelas”. My father used knowledgeable school personnel that could provide this information via an interview format in a 30 minute television program

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Dear Exhibitors,
Here is the form that we are using. Please fill out and return via email or fax to 626 791 9418.

I have spoken to each of you individually regarding our costs. Those that need an one day business license, please do so as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please send as soon as possible.

Because our event is just around the corner, we are not accepting any new exhibitors. If you are interested in participating, leave us your information and we will contact you for our jamaica in 2011.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Entry information, detailed

Latino Heritage parade & jamaica entries

The formation will be the same as it has been in past years.
9 a.m. Group check in.
10 a.m. Entry representative meets with formation team.
11 a.m. Parade kicks off.
The more formal, easily copied version will be available for download this evening.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Kidspace Family Free Night

Free Family Night: Hispanic Heritage
Tuesday, October 5 from 4-8pm
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with cultural art activities by Lation Heritage from 5 to 7pm and a dance performance by Folklorico Nahuatzen at 6. This program is made possible in part by the Pasadena Art & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs.
Please join us next week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grand Marshal is...

And the Grand Marshal is...Sonia Marie De León de Vega, conductor, founder of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra. This is the only orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to take classical music to the Latino Community. Through the Discovering Music program they bring music to the classroom.
We are thrilled that she w
ill be out Grand Marshal.
To learn more about Sonia or about the SCO.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

VADA, Pasadena High School

The Visual Arts and Design Academy is an amazing program in the Pasadena Unified School District. The students who attend are some of the most talented students in the district area. We've been fortunate to partner with them in a variety of areas.
One of the ways we have worked together has been on their entry for the parade & jamaica. The year we highlighted the 1890s they had material focused on the move from agricultural to urbanized living. This year connecting with our theme "Our America" they began focused on Latino Culture, since it is a Latino focused event, and then went on to share something of their own culture or heritage. There will be 5 banners each about 12 feet in length.
If you look at the banner closely you can see where they are in sharing the multiple heritages that are part of the students background. The images chosen come from the research that is required of the students before they work on the project.

The purple fish is a koi, the warm colored creature farthest from camera is a bird, and the image closest to camera is Stonehenge. The idea that culture can be informative and valued has gone beyond a sort of mini-tourism to being meaningful. Appreciating one's own culture or heritage, often allows you to appreciate and value other cultures. That in itself can be one of the best qualities of our shared America.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Partial listing of parade participants

Center for community and Family Services Head Start, Ballet Folklorico Mexica, Visual Art and Design Academy, Pasadena High Sachool, Cleveland Elementary, Madison Elementayry, John Muir Mighty Mustang Marching Band, San Rafael Elementary, Washington Accelerated, Ballet Folklorico Sol y Luna, Elena Ole International Dance Troupe, Jefferson Elementary, Eliot Middle School, and more...
Please join us!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Children's area, part 2

We'll also have arts and crafts - facepainting, making your family nopal(cactus), papel picado, loteria - 1910-1920 style, playdough tortillas, and more.

Vendors at the jamaica, part 1

In keeping with our theme of Our America, vendors at the jamaica will be bringing a wide ranges of wares. As soon as I have images I will share them.
Susan Hernandez, working with her business partner - her mother, has started up the business Latin Inspired Designs, for more images go to To quote them, " We are proud to represent the art of Mariachi and Folklorico through our creations". There will also be jewelry and crafty kits available, too.

Please go to their website to get a good look at their work, I'm unable to manipulate the image to do doll justice.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Children's area, part 1

We have a sponsor for the Children's Area! This will be a good bit of living history - complete with re-enactors!
So now we are going ahead with a lot of the details we thought we might not be able to share. As we finalize pending items here are some of the things that were popular in 1910-1920. Here and in other countries in Latin America.
Jacks, marbles, horseshoes, hopscotch, badminton, jumprope, pick up sticks, croquet.
More activities to be listed tomorrow.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fiestas Patrias

Hope to see you here as we continue celebrating Latino Heritage Month.

Villa-Parke Community Center

363 E. Villa Street

Pasadena, CA 91101

Camp Stories

CAMP STORIES - Before - During & After the Internment of Americans of Japanese Ancestry during WWII........ SAT - Sept. 18th 9:30am- 12 noon - Hosted by Southern CA Public Radio (KPCC), Includes Reception & Photo Exhibit by Stone Ishimaru and 40's tunes with Johnny "Kiki" Pal. Must RSVP - .........Presented by Cherry Blossom Festival SoCal and Produced by WOW! Event Productions.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Latino Heritage Every Third Friday Film

We regret that tonight's screening is cancelled.
We'll be back in October!

Entry forms for the 2010 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica

Although Monday was set as our cut off for entries, we are able, thanks to some volunteer help, to extend our entries to 9/24.
And thanks to our good buddies, the fabulous group Conjunto Los Pochos, we are able to have you get to the entry form via this link.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting to know a little about our neighboring history

Congratulations to the Monrovia Latino Heritage Society. Their inaugural exhibit, which took place last Sunday, was a fine success. It looks like they will be able to share some of their Monrovia pride both at the parade and at the jamaica.

It will be great to see the ways in which our different communities have shared experiences and ways in which their experiences are unique to that community.

It will be really fine to have us spend time with each other.

Check them out on facebook - enter Monrovia Latino Heritage Society.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2010 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica

The excitement builds!

Here is the poster for this year.

We could use some help distributing it in our community. If you could help please contact the email address below.

We'll be sharing more about the event on the blog.
Entry forms have been distributed to the leaders of entries that have participated in years past.
If you would like an entry form, would like to be an exhibitor, or would like to volunteer please contact