"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Chicano(a) books by El Paso Writers Mario Garcia and Maria Del Pilar Munoz and Updates on Solis, Morton, Salazar, Paredes

El Paso-born historian , Mario T. Garcia has released:
(Univ of Texas Press Jan 2010 ISBN-10: 0292718411)

Description is as follows: Chicano Catholicism -- both as a popular religion and a foundation for community organizing -- has, over the past century, inspired Chicano resistance to external forces of oppression and discrimination including from other non-Mexican Catholics and even the institutionalized church. 

Chicano Catholics have also used their faith to assert their particular identity and establish a kind of cultural citizenship. Based exclusively on original research and sources, Mario T. García here offers the first major historical study to explore the various dimensions of the role of Catholicism in Chicano history in the 20th- century. This is also one of the first significant studies in the still limited field of Chicano religious history. Topics range from how early Chicano Catholic intellectuals and civil rights leaders were influenced by Catholic Social Doctrine, to the role that popular religion has played in the lives of ordinary men and women in both rural and urban areas. 

García also examines faith-based Chicano community movements like Católicos Por La Raza in the 1960s and the Sanctuary movement in Los Angeles in the 1980s. While Latino/a history and culture has been, for the most part, inextricably linked with the tenets and practices of Catholicism, there has been very little written, until recently, about Chicano Catholic history. García helps to fill that void and explore the impact--both positive and negative -- that the Catholic experience has had on the Chicano community. 

Floricanto Press has released  

(Floricanto Press Jan 2010 ISBN-10: 1888205245)

Written by Maria Del Pilar Munoz. Publisher's description is as follows: 
With her passionate interest in historical anthropology Maria del Pilar Munoz has contributed to New Mexico and La Herencia Magazines. She has also written an interpretation of Legends from the Camino Real and Mexica poems. 

Since a young child, she enjoyed traveling throughout the Southwest and Mexico, paved and unpaved roads, listening to the voices of ancianitos (elders) having platicas (long talks) to bring forth traditions in forecasting the future using deeply rooted practices of elucidation of dreams. Latinos strongly believe that dreams are a forewarning at what lies ahead and beyond and to help you overcome whatever life brings. 

It was the reappearing memory of the importance of reading dreams that influenced publishing these interpretations. Maria del Pilar Munoz was born in Chihuahuita, historical corner of El Paso, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with specialization in History and Master of Education with specialization in Curriculum Writing from University of Texas at El Paso. 

Having lived all her life in El Paso she retired as a Bilingual Education Teacher from Ysleta Schools. Mother of three sons and three daughters now enjoys five grandchildren. "The importance of knowing the connection between our culture and our dreams makes the book Dreams by Maria del Pilar Munoz a must read for anyone interested in exploring this exciting cultural relationship more in-depth. Kudos to the author for making this exciting exploration possible. An exciting must read!" Norma Godina-Silva, Ph.D., Founder, Director, ESL-BilingualResources.com.

"Dreams will open your minds avenues into a different cultural spectrum of understanding. A plus read for one who wishes to know more about the significance of dreams and how to use them to broaden one's scope of life." Elbert Garcia, Santa Rosa, New Mexic.

El Paso Writer Updates

Raymond Paredes 

The Texas Tribune posted article "Texas Higher Ed Commissioner on Closing the Gaps" and interview with El Paso native and now Texas Commissioner on Higher Education, Raymond Paredes. Regarding Texas, the article says, "Only five public universities have six-year graduation rates above 50 percent, only three out of 10 full-time community college students earn any credential after six years, and only 22 percent of students graduate from high school college-ready. Seeking to refocus their efforts on key improvements, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which Paredes oversees, released an accelerated version of the Closing the Gaps plan in January."
To see the video of the interview with Paredes go to:

Octavio Solis' Pastures of Heaven "Impressive"
Kedar Adour Reviews has posted a review on Solis' new play "Pastures of Heaven": "Every part of this production is impressive with the caveat that two hours and 55 minutes stretches ones attention span especially if Mother Nature brings wind and fog to the venue. This show will certainly have a life after CalShakes. Rather than chase it around the country you should head to the Hill in Orinda now and see this highly recommended production." READ MORE
Also, the New Play Blog has a post on "Pastures of Heaven" with some news on a mural that was made relating to the play. Click here on

New Play & Mural Premieres Now: "Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven"

Beca a Carlos Morton

Bueno, Carlos Morton won a major beca. El Instituto Franklin- UAH has awarded le beca Nebrij to Carlos Morton. Read the press release at the Somos en Escrito Blog.

Salazar memorabilia

The LA Times blog has posted several graphic items regarding Ruben Salazar including the above and the papers following the day of his assassination. Check them out at

Ruben Salazar, RIP


The link Pluma shares with you today is:

The Phillip K. Dick Festival


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