Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Your vote, your voice.

“We are inspired by what is happening here. The revolution here is electoral. It has inspired us to take these lessons to our country and to inspire our people too.”

Dolores Huerta

Friday, November 2, 2012

A life of their own

Often cultural expressions change or are changed by the places and the ways they are celebrated.  Birthdays are like this, weddings are like this, and at this time of year El dia de los muertos is like this.  
15 years ago there were very few places that embraced this tradition.  This year there are at least 3-6 places where El dia de los muertos altars are being presented.

How we remember those we love and admire is not set in stone.  It is sometimes written on stone, but may also be written on calaveras, or expressed by the presence of a taste, a scent, or a photo that made a loved one happy when we walked the earth together.

Latino Herirage Ofrenda at Webster's  Fine Stationers, Altadena, CA

Adolfo Guzman Lopez writes about the ever changing experience of Día de lo muertos in the link below.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

What a grand day it was!

Don't look for any parade pictures on this post.  You won't find them.

The parade is wonderful and has great meaning, but the jamaica has so much that often isn't covered.  
Yesterday was focused on 1840-1860 as far as historical content was concerned and, yes, this was an even that was focused on Latino experience and history, but some things cross all cultural lines and linguistic divisions.

The pride of elders looking at the future unfolding before their eyes, 

Maria Mitchell and PMAHA President Manny Contreras
a group smile for a job well done,
Carmen Serrano - Madison Elementary, Sandra Guiterrez - Chairperson, Javier Carbajal-Ramos  - PCC
bringing history alive through old time games,
Students and Education Chair, Kathee Bautista
keeping culture alive through performance
Sol y Luna dancers with Gabriela de Leon
 connecting science and history thanks to a water pump wagon
Michael Crosby of Rancho Los Encinos

or learning about more than science from the students of Caltech.

photos - James Grimes

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Planting Dreams" Parade Participants

Thanks to all our volunteers who have worked tirelessly to bring you a great event.  

A special nod of recognition to Parade Logistics Chair, Catherine Haskett Hany.  
She has been handily assisted by Leticia Montañez and Carmen Serrano.  
These ladies rock!

Here is the current list of groups that will be in the 2012 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica.

Blair Army JROTC
Blair Viking Band
Latino Heritage
Queen & Court Fiestas Patrias 2012 - Villa Parke
Ballet Folklorico Quetzal, Madison, Washington, Altadena Learns
Visual Art and Design Academy
Eliot Middle School Band & Spirit Team
San Rafael Elementary School
Shopping Cart Mini-Floats
Ballet Folklorico Sol y Luna
Charros Unidos de Pasadena-Altadena
Thomas Jefferson Elementary
Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena
SEED Program
Wilson Middle School
Wilson Middle School Drum Corp
Keiki O Ka Aina
Pasadena Mexican American History Assocation
Villa Parke Community Center
McKinley School
Pasadena Latino Forum
John Muir Mighty Mustang Marching Band
CHAP - Community Health Alliance of Pasadena
John Muir Drum Corps
Madison Elementary School
Families Growing Together
El Centro de Acción Social
Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team
Cleveland Elementary School
Pasadena City Drumline and/or Colorguard
Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA
Mother's Club Family Learning Center
Don Benito Elementary School
Lumina Academy
Washington Accelerated Elementary
Pasadena High School Bulldog Marching Band

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ready for us

This is our 14th year.  The third year that we will have 1, 000 entries in the parade.  The first year that we will have reps from each of the Pasadena Unified School District high schools.
Okay, the image isn't clear.  It's very pixilated.  
But there is NO missing the joy that these Senoras are expressing as they see their community members dancing, marching, and walking down Washington Blvd.!

Please come join us this Saturday.  And tell your friends.  There might be room on the bench for you!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Next to last

We are so close to being ready for the parade and jamaica. 
Carmen, Victor, Kevin, Rosanna

Tina, Olivia, Yuriko, Rozanne

 Michelle, and our Leader Sandra.
Final meeting before the event - Tuesday, October 2.  Please http://latinoheritagesgv.org for site.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

VADA and Francisco P. Ramirez

One of the great things that happens every year when the students of the Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) take the information that has been shared with them and then translate that information into a visual representation.  The banners that they create, and then carry in the parade, are long enough that they are able to be both project based and cooperative in nature.  Individual ideas work to produce a visually cohesive statement.

Last year the parade and jamaica were focused on the years of 1947-1955 so they were pachucos, images from the Epoca de Oro of Mexican Cinema, all sorts of points of common experience, too.

This year the focus is on 1840-1860.  Adults living a generation earlier had begun the 19th century living under Spanish Rule, lived through Mexican independence from Spain, and were a part of those who lived on the Ranchos of the Southwest.  We're used to calling those folks Californios.  Writing about history can be like writing about fashion; labels come and labels go. 'nough said, we know who we mean.  Though fictional character, the students were intrigued with the idea of Zorro - they learned about him via the movies.  This answered their question about how art and history might intersect.


Those living in the region from 1840-1860 saw an influx of foreigners; first, those who came for the land and then those who came for the gold.  They knew of the independent Republic of Texas.  There were those who fought in the U.S./Mexican War (1846-1848)  and who were well aware of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.  They experienced the immense surge in population that was a result of a move away from more cosmopolitan areas by some and the move to the gold veins of California. 

Among those living in California at that time was a teen who began writing locally in the Los Angeles Star, a bilingual newspaper, and later became editor of El Clamor Público.  Franisco P. Ramirez was about the age of most of our high school seniors when he worked as editor and writer.  In his writing he demanded Mexican equality,  the abolition of slavery, and supported the education of women.  Evidently this resonated with at least one student.  There'll be a concise column about Ramirez written by journalist, and Pasadena resident, Luis Torres in our parade & jamaica brochure.

 They students were given an academic port of entry, have done their exploring and will share their interpretation with us on October 6th.

For more on Francisco P. Ramirez -




Saturday, September 8, 2012

Latino Heritage Tequila Tasting, September 8, 2012

At Latino Heritage we try to have a bit of education in everything we do.  We usually also try have fun while we're at it.  Happy to share that there are a lot of people in our community who not only appreciate the work that we do, but offer support. 

Jeff Penichet has long been active in the Latino community.  He serves on the Creative Advisory Board of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and was recently appointed to the Board of Administration of the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System.  He has produced films and was a former teacher.  Beyond all this he has served in the Peace Corps, established Bilingual Educational Services and has served on the boards of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation and the California Association of Bilingual Educators.  
And tonight he has offered a home to us to use for our Tequila Tasting.  

Because the time period our parade and jamaica is focused on is the mid-nineteenth century, the evening will begin with a little bit of dance from the Islands.  

Why, you wonder. Well, at that time some "Californios" would send their children to the Sandwich Islands - Hawaii - to learn English.  There was no safe means of going directly across the United States and the other way to get to the East Coast was taking a ship that traveled on both sides of the Americas.

Eighteen year old Maritza Canto Espinoza, one of Altadena's gems, dances the Tahitian Otea with her group Keiki O ka 'Aina. Over the years Maritza has learned about the dances of Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Samoa. She has also learned  about the culture of each of these Pacific Islands. She is well versed in Hula, Otea, Swings Maori poi (dry and with fire) and is an award winning Siva Afi (Samoan Fire Knife) Dancer.  One of her favorite memories was performing in the 2011 Rose Parade along side the Dole Float designed by Raul R. Rodriguez.

We will also enjoy appetizers and nibbles from El Patron and Mota's Mexican Restaurants - both in lovely Altadena.  

El Portal and Doña Rosa have donated fine bottles of tequila to be a part of our sampling.

It will be a night that will be rich in color and taste.
It will be a night where we have fun while we raise funds for the work we do in the community.
Such a deal.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A new website and bit of history

Most people know about Latino Heritage via the Latino Heritage parade & jamaica.  It makes sense that that would be the venue.  We've had great Grand Marshals - Lalo Guerrero, Dolores Huerta, Quetzal, Val Zavala, Tomas Benitez, Susanna Guzman, Hector Tobar.  More than 10,000 people have actively participated in the event.

As a group we've done much more and over the next few weeks we'll be writing a bit more about who we are and some of the things we've done.

And you can check out more about us at our new website!  We're very proud of it and thank the committee that has produced it.

Thanks, Sandra M. Gutierrez, Martha Camacho, Javier Carbajal-Ramos, and James Grimes.  With a hand bit of review by Hilda Ramirez Horvath and Roberta Martínez.

Please take a peek. It is a "living document" and will continue to regularly have new information.


Quick History

Lovely red rose with a green stem.1998 - Working with long term residents who are members of the Pasadena Mexican American History Association the first parade and jamaica takes place.
1998 - Latino History Committee expands programming beyond the parade and jamaica and presents Día de los Muertos at Caltech.
1999-2001 - Latino History Committee goes through a couple of name changes. Eventually Latino Heritage is settled on as the name that best expresses the mission and vision of the organization.
2001 - The exhibit The Past Lives Vividly is presented at the Pasadena Museum of History 2001. A Californio wedding is part of the parade & jamaica.
2002 - Latino Heritage working with Pasadena Unified and the City of Pasadena coordinates a citywide celebration of Cesar Chavez.
2007 - The jamaica moves to La Pintoresca Library and Park and programming is expanded to the library and a greater connection with literacy.
2010 - Begin the Every Third Friday film series, a Spanish Immersion preschool Day camp, and panel presentations at Crawford Family Forum.
2010 - Over 1,000 participants are in the Latino Heritage parade & jamaica.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lupe Ontiveros, presente

We have lost a pioneer.  Lupe Ontiveros viewed herself as a pioneer; she was right.  She brought humanity to her roles, helped those who needed it whenever she could and was irrepressible.

Name a movie she was in and folks will remember her performance.  It was easy to forget that she acted equally well in English and Spanish.  She was our mom, our tia, our abuelita, our producer, and over 150 distinct versions of La Criada.

If you haven't read about her and her work, do please.  Or better yet, check out her work in her movies.    You'll see artistry that makes something out of nothing in a way that sticks in your memory.

Dyana Ortelli, Rick Najera, Lupe Ontveros, Rafael Agustin
Image courtesy Susie Albin-Najera


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Planting Dreams

We had a great meeting earlier today at La Pintoresca Library.  It was a meeting for the 2012 Latino Heritage parade & jamaica.  Well, it was that, but it was also about preparing a showcase for a young Reina of the Fiestas Patrias
 perhaps a future Drum Major
 a chance for current musicians to take to the streets
and for line of riders to go down Los Robles and Washington.

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 Latino Heritage planning meeting

General Planning Meeting

July 10th 5:30 - 6:30 
La Pintoresca Library 
1355 Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA  91104

Entrance is on corner of Raymond Ave. and Washington Blvd.

Please join us.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Levitt Pavilion and Latino Heritage website

First, the facts - our next meeting is on July 10th.  
The site is to be determined - it will be posted on the blog by Tuesday of this week.

While we haven't been blogging regularly the committee has been busy.  As partners at the Levitt Pavilion we have a table where we share information and we have Hecho en Pasadena tee shirts available.

   Michelle Zavala, Volunteer Committee Chair, is adjusting the display with the paper clips she "just happened to have". 

If you look closely you see the 2012 Chair, Sandra Gutierrez with the white version.   They come in black or white tees.
We'll be back at the Levitt this coming Saturday, July 7th.  We would welcome volunteers to help hand out information.  Please arrive by 6:30 and you can leave when the concert starts at 8:00.  Or you can stay and listen to Sargeant Garcia.  
Here's a link to the rest of the concerts for this summer: http://www.levittpavilionpasadena.org/images/pdf/summer2012forweb.pdf

 And we are working to not just revise, but are renovating our website.  

 Here is Sandra, and Latino Heritage board member Javier Cabarjal-Ramos, as we worked on the schema of the website.  
 Stalwart committee member James Grimes and Martha Camacho, of the Pasadena Public Library added their wisdom to the mix.  
We'll let you know when the website will be up. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Latino Heritage planning meeting

General Planning Meeting *

June 19th    5:30-6:30 p.m.

La Pintoresca Library
1355 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA  91104

Corner of Raymond Ave. and Washignton Blvd.

Note change of site for tonight's meeting.