Category Archives: Hispanic Culture

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Tucson’s San Xavier del Bac Mission undergoes renovation

One of the most beloved icons of the Southwest, San Xavier del Bac Mission, is getting a much-deserved facelift. In this KPNX Channel 12 news segment, you’ll meet the preservation specialist who’s undertaken the painstakingly slow job.

Book offers pictorial history of Mexicans in Phoenix

[Source: Beth Litwin, Arizona Republic] — Local author Frank Barrios (pictured at left) and the Phoenix Museum of History invite you to a dinner and book-signing event for his new pictorial history entitled “Mexicans in Phoenix.” Barrios, a Phoenix native with family roots dating back to the 1800s, compiled 213 photographs with captions highlighting the social, cultural and economic history of Mexicans in Phoenix. “I often refer to the story of Mexican people in Phoenix as the untold story,” said Barrios, adding that the majority of the photographs have never been displayed or published before. The 127-page book features family history and Mexicans photographs from the late 1800s through the 1970s. Barrios gathered many of the photos and stories from interviews with members of pioneer Mexican families in Phoenix while working on the Hispanic Property Survey project last year.

He joined Phoenix Historic Preservation officers and other researchers working on the survey that identified Mexican American properties important to Phoenix’s history. Barrios agreed to put together the book after the project’s completion. Among many community involvements, Barrios serves as the vice president of the Board of Directors at the Phoenix Museum of History, the president of First Families of Arizona and is on the state board of the Arizona Historical Society. The book signing, dinner and presentation will start at 6 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Phoenix Museum of History, 105 N. 5th St. Guests may purchase the book, meet the author to have it signed and visit the complementing new exhibit, “Mexican American Mirror: Reflections of our City’s Heritage.” Dinner and a slide show presentation by Barrios with photographs from the book will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and the book is $19.99 with all proceeds from tickets and book sales benefiting the Phoenix Museum of History. To reserve tickets call the museum at 602-253-2734 ext. 224.

Chandler’s farmworkers cemetery being neglected, some say

[Source: Edythe Jensen, Arizona Republic] — A 90-year-old cemetery for Hispanic farmworkers, surrounded by the Fulton Ranch development, is being neglected in what preservationists worry is an attempt to justify moving the graves off valuable land. Two years ago, Fulton Homes fenced the cemetery and installed benches and trees at the entrance as it prepared to develop the surrounding land. The home builder doesn’t own the cemetery, but investors who bought it following a tax auction have told volunteer caretakers to stay out. That has angered a Chandler police group that has vowed to intervene — with weed-removal equipment to cut down the overgrown tumbleweeds.

“It’s an ethical thing,” said Chandler Police Sgt. John Shearer, who is organizing the cleanup as an officer in the Chandler Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 14. “The cemetery used to be back in a field. Now it’s in the middle of Fulton Ranch behind a beautiful wall. The gate is unlocked; you walk in . . . and there’s a mess.” The cemetery is one of the few remaining links to Chandler’s once-thriving Goodyear farming community. Shearer said he has been unable to contact current owners of the Goodyear-Ocotillo Cemetery, northwest of Chandler Heights Road and Arizona Avenue. Pat Florence, a member of the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, said a representative of the previous owner ordered her group to halt regular cleanups because the land was private property. Florence said she feared she would be sued if she defied the order.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. To view Channel 12 video on the cemetery, click here. Photo source: Arizona Republic.]