Bobby Laird to Perform at Delta College

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Join Mexican Heritage Center for Breakfast Honoring Cesar Chavez



Cesar Chavez Breakfast


9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Featuring Special Guest


who will be displaying artwork

$25.00 | person


111 S. Sutter Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Maceo Montoya grew up in Elmira, California. He comes from a family of artists, including his father Malaquias Montoya, a renowned artist, activist, and educator, and his late brother, Andrés Montoya, whose poetry collection The Iceworker Sings and Other Poems won the American Book Award in 2000. Maceo graduated from Yale University in 2002 and received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Columbia University in 2006.

Montoya’s first novel, The Scoundrel and the Optimist (Bilingual Review, 2010), was awarded the 2011 International Latino Book Award for “Best First Book” and Latino Stories named him one of its “Top Ten New Latino Writers to Watch.” In 2014, University of New Mexico Press published his second novel, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, and Copilot Press published Letters to the Poet from His Brother, a hybrid book combining images, prose poems, and essays. You Must Fight Them, a novella and story collection, is forthcoming from University of New Mexico Press in fall 2015.

Montoya is an assistant professor in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis where he teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop and courses in Chicano Literature. He is also affiliated with Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a community-based arts organization located in Woodland, CA.

Maceo Montoya

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February Issue of “Joaquin” Magazine is Out.

The February issue is now available online at the following link. It focuses on the continuing issues surrounding recent attempts at Immigration reform. It also feature the work of Chicano artist, Malaquias Montoya, including one of his pieces on the cover.

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January Issue of “Joaquin” Magazine is out.

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January Issue of “Joaquin” Magazine is Hot off the Press!

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What’s New at Mexican Heritage Center?

Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery
111 S. Sutter
Stockton, CA

What’s Up in the Gallery?   Art Against Violence will be the January exhibit opening January 10th and running though January 31st.  This is a community exhibit sponsored by Draw It Out which is a community organization affiliated with Cleveland School Remembers.  This will be a unique presentation of community expression reflecting our wishes to have a more peaceful environment in which to live and raise our children.  The opening reception is January 16th from 5:30-8:00p.m.

Board Election Results -  Congratulations to our newly elected Board Members.  Cara Davis is now 1st Vice-President, Julisa Salas is corresponding Secretary, and Maggie Salas is now Sargent at Arms.  Wishing you all successful terms as our new board members.

Exhibition Committee - Gracie Madrid is now the Exhibition Committee Chair.  Any questions regarding upcoming exhibits should be addressed to her at or (209) 969-9306

Dia de los Muertos Committee - Gracie Madrid is now the chair of the Dia de los Muertoscommittee.  Any questions regarding the Dia de los Muertos exhibit should be addressed to her at or (209)969-9306

Wishing you all aFeliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo”

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New 2015 Mexican Revolution Calendars Available

Help support Stockton’s “Joaquin” magazine buy purchasing a calendar or more for $13. each.  These are great for gifts and photos may be mounted and framed after use. Contact the number shown on the photo to order. We can deliver on orders of 3 or more.

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Making History at Candlestick

Making history sometimes costs a bundle of money and time. We left Stockton for the McCartney, August 14, 2014, closing concert at SF’s Candlestick Park last night at 4pm, thinking that would be plenty of time to grab a bite to eat, and drive the short, 85 mile trip to the event scheduled to start at 8pm. All was well until we hit Hwy 101 North, off the San Mateo Bridge, about 6:30, still plenty of time, we thought, to the short drive past SF International, for the venue.

But it was bumper-to-bumper, (it was the middle of commuter traffic to boot). stop and go for the final 7.5 miles to the stadium. 2 1/2 hours later we were still one mile from the stadium! It was already about getting on to 9pm. We were only temporarily relieved when one of the Bay Area stations talked of the massive traffic jams around the stadium that were resulting in a late start for the concert, since McCartney himself was out there somewhere, stuck in traffic, too!

Luckily, one of the local stations was playing the ENTIRE Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album, which thoroughly primed us for the concert.

When we arrived at the Stadium, it was nearing 9:30 and we could hear McCartney’s voice booming from the loud speakers inside. Every parking lot was full and car lights before and behind us loomed for miles! As we reached the end of all the parking lots, we began to fear that we might never make it inside! That we might have to drive all the way back to Stockton only to tell friends that we never got in or that by the time we had, McCartney was doing his final encore! “Go, go”, our son said, “don’t worry about me, go.” My wife and I bailed out of the car while Miguel, drove the another mile to a dirt parking lot that shamelessly charged $40 for parking, a mile and a half from the stadium!

A small army of Rickshaws, seating up to three (skinny) people was ferrying people from these outer lots to the stadium entrance for $10. bucks a head, so my wife and I hopped one and made it to our seats by about 10 pm. Miguel also took a rickshaw and joined us about 20 minutes later.

As I gazed around the stadium at the 50,000+ devotees in attendance, I got chills. Sir Paul was bigger than life. The waft of Marijuana permeated the concourses and the stadium. I took a deep breath. The crowd, young and old alike, were pumped up for the show. I couldn’t see Paul, as some kind of lighting or camera booth was directly in front of him but the HD giant screens were sharp and clear. The sound was powerful and the lighting dazzling, as he belted out many of the crowd favorites, “Hey Jude”, “Back in the USSR”, and “Live and Let Die” (complete with fireworks.) The hundreds of cell phone lamps swaying back and forth to the chorus of Hey Jude’s, “La, la, la, la-la-la-la,” was well…. spiritual. Luckily, Sir Paul did several encores so the pain of missing half the concert didn’t hurt quite as much. I worried about the 100s of cars still trying to park and get into the venue before it ended.

As we made our way back to the parking lot, we stopped to rest, and I took a final nostalgic look at the now fully lit “Stick.” We walked half ways, to the lot and decided to take another rickshaw back to the car. And that was that. We had been part of history, at a cost.

The drive back was quick and uneventful and we each shared what we thought was a memorable moment from what we had just witnessed. But Obladi, Oblada, life goes on.

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Suffer The Little Children: A Tragedy of Immigrant Children

In any discussion or debate over the  complex issues of illegal immigration there is little talk about one segment of victims that may well be hardest hit by its consequences: children. While it is obvious that adults suffer the perils of treacherous geography, criminal assaults, unscrupulous Coyotes, and even death, there is a surge in unaccompanied children from Mexico and Central and South America who have been apprehended at the border for attempting to cross illegally in the US.

It is easy for Americans to picture our children playing safely in the streets, throwing water balloons at one another, riding bikes, or in their warm, air-conditioned homes watching TV entranced by their cell phones and electronic games. But few of us can imagine them taking their few possessions, stuffing them in a knapsack, and heading out on a treacherous thousand mile trek across deserts and mountains, to another country with only a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of water in hand, can we?

Yet according to figures, from 2008-2011 and average of 6-7500 children were apprehended attempting to cross the Mexico-US borders by the INS. In 2012, over 13,000 – in 2013 over 24,000 – and estimates are that over 90,000 unattended children will be detained in 2014!  Thus, it is welcome news that the Senate has just awarded the Obama administration $2B to help address the issue. But how far this money will go and exactly how it will be spent remains to be seen. This, issue while serious in its own right, does not address the untold trauma caused by children in the US, whose parents have been deported, and are left to the mercy of family and friends to care for them.

Recently, because detention centers at the border are already overflowing with illegal immigrants, excess detainees, many of them children, are being bussed to Texas and California only to meet angry mobs of Americans denying them entrance into their states or cities. It appears that the vast majority of these kids hail from Central and South America who are fleeing to the US due to poverty and to avoid the lure and violence of gangs in their countries. Many have relatives in the US and some of these may be fortunate enough to be reunited with them. Obama has called it a “humanitarian crisis.”

But many Americans just don’t want to hear the reasons why immigrants from the South are clamoring to enter the US. For them, the easy solution is “round em’ up and ship em’ back”, a primitive method dating to the beginnings of the 20th century, one which has obviously not worked. “Illegals” have been rounded up, bussed, flown and herded into box cars in mass deportations. A large majority of these just turned around, and re-entered the US.

These Americans fear for themselves: “They bring crime.” “They bring disease.” “I got mine, by God. That’s all that counts.” But how can we comfortably eat from our full plate with so many hungry eyes watching us? Even the eyes of our own poor and homeless haunt us. If it weren’t for the red stoplights that force us to make eye-to-eye contact with the derelict at the corner asking for money, we would never even acknowledge they exist.

To help get a perspective on this issue, let me take the liberty of recommending a few must-see films: “Sin Nombre” (Without Name), the powerful HBO documentary “Which Way Home?”, and the documentary “Dying to Get in”, for starters.

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Heaven: No Lawns or Graffiti

I just got back from Phoenix, Arizona after visiting some close friends. I had hoped for a leisurely stay of 10 days at their mobile home park lounging in the sun and next to their luxurious community swimming pool, but instead they were anxious to give us tours of nearby Sedona, which was glorious, and of the sprawling Phoenix surroundings. The very first thing I noticed was that there was not one single lawn to be seen anywhere!

I mean, how could they? How dare they? Isn’t this “unAmerican?” Front yards were mostly decorated with a great variety of rocks, stones and gravel and dotted with pines, Saguaros and other species of cacti. In this daunting California drought (they are having one too) we would do well to follow their lead and dig up our water guzzling lawns. I could sure appreciate a break from mowing lawns and watering them during the summer season. But what would it take for Californians to follow suit?

The second thing I noticed was how clean their roadways, highways and freeways were. The public art on sound walls and overpasses was in good taste, mostly Native American in color and theme and pleasantly complimented the drudgery of driving through miles and miles of roads. But what floored me about this is that nowhere, and I mean nowhere, was there any GRAFFITI! How is this possible? Were we in Heaven? Had all the spray-can punks moved to California? I almost missed the mindless  scrawling we’ve all grown so accostumed to in this neck of the woods

I could go on, but I really need to go outside to mow and water my lawn.


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    Richard Rios

    Richard Rios is a retired English and Chicano Studies teacher after 33 years at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. Born in Modesto in 1939, the son of Mexican immigrants, he graduated from Modesto High School in 1957. He went on to study art at ... Read Full
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