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