What’s Hot at Mexican Heritage Center?











Click on “Newsletter” link above to read the latest from Stockton’s Mexican Heritage Center!


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Amigos of “Joaquin” Magazine, the only fully Bilingual journal of its kind, is (and it’s no secret) struggling financially to keep afloat. To this point, the magazine has offered its services absoltutely free but the printing is costly. So please join us on Wednesday for this luncheon/Mixer Fundraiser at Cancun Restaurant in Stockton from 11:30-1. Cost is a $20. donation for any meal on the menu. There will be silent art auction (a photo of Cesar Chavez by our own Arturo Vera) and raffle prizes available.

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So What’s New at the Mexican Heritage Center?

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

What’s Up in the Gallery?  Painting with Light is the current exhibit featuring photographs from the works of Steve Montalvo, Arturo Vera, James Sobredo, Raoul Mora and Joy Neas.  These local photographers capture with their lenses a variety of themes from stunning landscapes to cultural events and artifacts.  Come take a look.  The show runs from June 4th – June 28th.  The meet and greet reception will be held this Friday, June 13th from 5:30-8:00 p.m.  Members are encouraged to bring an appetizer  or beverage to share.

Stockton Arts Commission Grant- The Stockton Arts Commission has granted $5000.00 to the MHC&G.  This award will be used to fund a production of the Franklin High Youth Theater.  We are looking forward to a wonderful production put on by our local youth and teachers.

The County has also awarded a grant to the MHC& G of $15,000.  That grant will be used for a After School Action Arts Program.  Great things are happening!

Kudos to Gracie Madrid for her great grant writing skills.  This will surely enhance our center and take it to the next level.

New Intern at the Center- The MHC&G would like to welcome Celia Castro to our center.  Celia is a Masters student at San Francisco State.  She will be using her skills to update our website, design a professional newsletter and create an exhibit commemorating El Barrio Chivo.  We welcome Celia with open arms and look forward to working with her.

 Next Membership Meeting -June 16th at 5:30 p.m.

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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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Invitation to Artist’s Studio and Garden Art Exhibit

Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Time: 9am to 4pm
Where: 1768 W. Sonoma (off of Pershing Ave.), Stockton

How do artists overcome this difficult time in our economy? Do artists still create art or just focus on surviving this unpredictable economy by getting a 9 to 5 job? Creating art doesn’t have to be forgotten. Using your creative skills can help working artist survive these difficult times.OPEN Artist Studio to the Public

Come and meet artist ERNIE MARTIN, and enjoy the delightful creative atmosphere of her Garden Art Exhibition and working Studio. All art work will on sale.
Ernie is a single mom using her creativity as a manicurist in the day time and an artist at other times of her life.

This exhibition is a culmination of her 40 years creating art. She finds inspiration in the materials she encounters which are transformed into wood carvings, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastels, pen & ink, walls, tile mosaics on table tops, hand sown bags, hand painted furniture, assembled bird houses, and much more.

Free to the public!

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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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Mexican? Hispanic? Latino? Mexican-American? Chicano?

For decades we, we descendents of Spanish-speaking ancestors, born or having lived most of our lives in the US,  have struggled with what to call ourselves. I have written plenty on this in the past. The Chicano Movement of the late 60s and 70s grappled with this issue head-on, choosing to identify itself with the term “Chicano” rather than the more domesticated and inert sounding “Mexican-American.” We chose up sides. We argued. We debated. And sometimes came to blows.

I personally chose Chicano because it was loaded with a cultural-social-political aura that identified me as a mover, a doer, and those who sought an identify one grounded smack in the middle between Mexican and American, not half of each, but 100% of each, if that were even possible.

But despite all this, we succeeded, I believe in creating not a watered-down version of two different cultures, Mexican and American, but a completely independent third culture, a Pocho culture, masterfully blended with the best (but sometimes the worst) of the two. Actor, James Olmos, says it best in the following clip from the movie. “Selena”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw5bA8cVF-E

This video commentary by Sociologist, G. Christina Mora offers additional insights into our dilemma over cultural identity – http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/04/29/hispanic-label/


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New Exhibit at Mexican Heritage Center


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So What’s New at Mexican Heritage Center?

MexicanHeritageCenter and Gallery
111 S. Sutter St. Stockton, CA

What’s Up in the Gallery – “A Celebration of Family”  This month’s exhibit is a display honoring the descendents of Maria Gonzales-Macias and Eutimio Macias.  This family has resided in Stockton since the early 1930′s.  Their journey begins in Jalpa, Zacatecas to Morence, Arizona to  Stockton, California.  Maria and Eutimio had five children, Ramon, Antonia, Refugio, Jesus de Maria, and Manuela.  From these five children five families emerged, Macias, Loya, Nevarez, Medina/Galvez, and Del Rio.  For the last 40 years the family has had a reunion.

The exhibit will encapsulate the various aspects of the family and how they have impacted the community of Stockton.  Features of the exhibit include: In Service to our Country, a tribute to the veterans that have served in the armed forces, In Service to our Community, the various professions of family members and a special section on members that have been inducted into the Mexican American Hall of Fame.  This includes Carmen Fernandez, Ernesto Medina, Frank Zapata and Fred Medina.  From el barrio del Chivo to Tiburon and beyond this family has grown and flourished.

Join us on May 9th at 5:30 for the reception.  “Mariachi los Jilgueros” will be providing the celebratory music.  Please, bring an appetizer or beverage to share.

MHC&G Board Meeting – May 5, 2014 5:30

MHC&G Membership Meeting May 19, 2014 5:30

Wishing you allaFeliz Cinco de Mayo!”

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Invitation to Author Symposium at Cesar Chavez Library May 12

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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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