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Faces of Tradition: Portraits of Mexican Artists in the Yakima Valley Las Caras de Tradición: Artistas Mexicanos en el Valle de Yakima Photographs by Eduardo Calderón Fotografías por Eduardo Calderón An exhibition produced by the Yakima Valley Museum, made possible through a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts

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  • Faces of Tradition: Portraits of Mexican Artists in the Yakima Valley

    Las Caras de Tradicin: Artistas Mexicanos en el Valle de Yakima

    Photographs by Eduardo Caldern Fotografas por Eduardo Caldern

    An exhibition produced by the Yakima Valley Museum, made possible through a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts

  • Faces of Tradition: Portraits of Mexican Artists in the Yakima ValleyLas Caras de Tradicin: Artistas Mexicanos en el Valley de YakimaProduced by the Yakima Valley Museum

    Cover photo: Banda La Palmera by Eduardo Caldern, 2005

    Contributions by: Jean Dibble and Jos Zambrano of El Sol de YakimaAdriana Janovich of Yakima Herald RepublicAurora L. Pea-Torres

    The funding for this exhibit is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts

    2006 Eduardo CaldernReproduction of any part of this material is prohibited without permission of the artist and the Yakima Valley Museum

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    Faces of Tradition: Portraits of Mexican Artists in the Yakima ValleyLas Caras de Tradicin: Artistas Mexicanos en el Valle de Yakima

    Traditional Mexican arts are alive in the Yakima Valley

    Each of us has an identity that is formed by our family and ancestors, the community in which we were raised, and the customs of our people. For many of us, artistic traditions are an essential part of this identity, connecting us with our culture and giving our lives continuity.

    The people who come to the Yakima Valley from Mexico bring with them many artistic traditions. These include the music, dance, and handcrafts which have defined the Mexican people for generations and make our valleys Mexican-American communities vibrant and colorful. Some of these immigrants are professional artists and some are not, but all are bearers of centuries-old traditions which they continue to practice here.

    Photographs by Eduardo Caldern

    Las tradicionales artes Mexicanas estn vivas en el Valle de Yakima

    Cada uno de nosotros tenemos una identidad que est formada por la familia, antepasados, el entorno en el que vivimos de pequeos y las costumbres de nuestra gente. Para muchos de nosotros, las tradiciones artsticas forman parte esencial de esa identidad. Nos conecta con nuestra cultura y nos da continuidad a la vida.

    Las personas que vienen al Valle de Yakima desde Mxico, traen muchas tradiciones artsticas; tales como la msica, el baile, y la artesana. Esas costumbres, han definido al pueblo mexicano

    por generaciones. Adems hace vibrante y colorido las comunidades mexico-americanas del Valle. Varios de estos inmigrantes son artistas profesionales y algunos no. Sin embargo todos conocen sus antiguas tradiciones y las continan practicando aqu.

    Fotografas por Eduardo Caldern

    Virginia Jimnez de Rodrguez, Mara Guadalupe Jimnez de Galvn, Mara Socorro Jimnez

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    Eduardo Caldern and the Development of an ExhibitIn 2003, Eduardo Caldern, a Seattle-based photographer with a keen ability to document cultural identity in modern society, contacted the Yakima Valley Museum. He proposed a project to capture, on film, some of the traditional Mexican artists now living in the Yakima Valley. He was eager to locate artists and record interviews in which they would discuss coming to America and the importance of artistic traditions in their lives; these conversations are an essential part of the portrait process. He needed a partner in the project who could turn his photos and recordings into an exhibit that would celebrate the artistic traditions of Yakima Valleys Mexican-American communities. We were pleased to help make this idea a reality.

    The Folk Arts program of the National Endowment For The Arts awarded the Yakima Valley Museum a grant to underwrite Calderns costs as well as the expenses associated with mounting this exhibition of the photographs. El Sol de Yakima, the Spanish language publication of the Yakima Herald-Republic, also joined the project, assisting with translation and production of related educational programs and publications. The resulting exhibit, Faces of Tradition: Portraits of Mexican Artists in the Yakima Valley, provides a representative sampling of the varied Mexican artistic expression found in the Yakima Valley today. Over the next few years, this exhibit will tour the Yakima Valley, visiting the communities of its subjects.

    Eduardo Caldern y el Desarrollo de una ExhibicinEn el ao 2003, Eduardo Caldern, fotgrafo de Seattle, con una habilidad nica para documentar la identidad cultural en la sociedad moderna se puso en contacto con el Museo del Valle de Yakima. l propuso el proyecto de capturar con fotos algunos de los artistas tradicionales mexicanos quienes ahora viven en el Valle de Yakima. l tena el deseo de localizar artistas y grabar entrevistas con ellos, mientras hablaron de su llegada a Estados Unidos y tambin sobre la importancia de las tradiciones artsticas en sus vidas. stas conversaciones son parte esencial del proceso del retrato. l necesitaba un socio en el proyecto que pudiera hacer que las fotos y grabaciones, llegaran a ser una exhibicin que manifieste las tradiciones artsticas de las comunidades mexico-americanas del Valle de Yakima. Nos gust mucho hacer que sta idea sea una realidad.

    El programa Folk Arts de la National Endowment For The Arts concedi al Museo del Valle de Yakima una beca para asegurar los costos de Caldern, as como los gastos por montar la exhibicin de fotografas. El Sol de Yakima, la publicacin en espaol del Yakima Herald-Republic, se uni tambin al proyecto ayudando con las traducciones y produccin de programas educativos. El resultado de todo esto ha sido la exhibicin Las Caras de la Tradicin: Retratos de Artistas Mexicanos en el Valle de Yakima, proporciona ejemplos de la variada expresin artstica mexicana que se puede ver en el Valle de Yakima hoy en da. Durante los prximos aos, sta exhibicin viajar por todo el Valle visitando varias comunidades.

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    COMMUNITY STORIESStories are all around us, and the best resources for these stories are people. Friends, relatives, neighbors, and community members all have interesting stories to tell. Stories just need a writer willing to record them. As a student reporter, it is your challenge to seek out these stories and then share what you have learned with your readers. Photographer Eduardo Caldern shared stories about Mexican artists in the Yakima Valley community. Read what he has shared, and learn more by following the writers tips throughout this book.


    Never stop asking questions. Talk to everyone you know about your story idea, and ask them if they know someone you can speak to. You may be surprised at the resources people will share.


    Nunca deje de hacer preguntas. Platique con quien queira acerca de la idea que tiene para su historia y pregnteles si ellos conocen a alguien a quin usted pudiera entrevistar. Usted estar sorprendido de la cantidad de recursos que le pueded brindar la gente en su comunidad.

    HISTORIAS DE LA COMUNIDADExisten historia y relatos en todas partes y stos provienen de la gente. Los amigos, parientes, vecinos y miembros de la comunidad tienen siempre algo interesante que contar. Estos relatos e historias necesitan de un excritor dispuesto a registrarlos. Como un estudiante del reportero, su reto es el de buscar estas historias y as poder compartir lo que ha aprendido con sus lectores. El fotgrafo Eduardo Caldern nos comparti los relatos de artistas mexicanos de la Comunidad del Valle de Yakima. Lean lo que l ha escrito y aprendan ms al seguir los consejos del escritor mencanados a travs de este libro.

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    Xchitl FloresBorn in Mexico City, 1966

    I come from a family of musicians. My father is a jazz composer and trumpet player. They call him Fakir because his sound is so beautiful that he could enchant serpents. I came to the U.S. in 1992. I came to stay because I knew that in Mexico I couldnt afford to give my children a proper education. I studied music at the Conservatory in Mexico City but since I had to raise a family, I couldnt afford to be a musician. I arrived in this country without a single musical instrument.

    Ive lived in Yakima since 2004. I am married to the painter Daniel de Siga. Shortly after my arrival in the Valley, I met with the orchestra in Dayton but was treated with a certain distrust. They were all Anglos and they were not accustomed to the idea that Mexican people could be educated in classical music. As soon as they heard me play the flute I was accepted in the orchestra. I practice with the Yakima Flute Troupe, a group of six flute players. We play choral music.

    I think it would be difficult to live in Mexico again. Still, one misses a lot of things. To talk about the future I have to think about the things Ive done in the past, and that way I can see better where I would like to be in the future. When I first came to the U.S. I did not speak English and had no career. I knew how to play the flute but I didnt have a degree. Im still taking classes. Someday I would like to have a masters degree in finance, education, and music. Music will always be a part of my life. An artist never retires.

    Xchitl FloresNaci en 1966, Ciudad de Mxico

    Provengo de una familia de msicos y mi pap es un trompetista y compositor de jazz. Le dicen el faquir porque tiene un sonido tan bonito que encanta a las serpientes. Llegu a Estados Unidos en 1992. Vine a quedarme porque saba que en Mxico no les poda dar a mis hijos la educacin necesaria. Estudi msica en el Conservatorio de la Ciudad de Mxico pero tuve que criar a mis hijos y no poda tocar msica. Llegu a EEUU sin un solo instrumento musical. Vivo en Yakima desde 2004. Estoy casada con el pintor Daniel de Siga. Al principio fui a hablar con la orquesta en Dayton pero me miraron con un poco de desconfianza ya que todos eran anglosajones y estaban acostumbrados a que la

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    gente mexicana no tuviera una educacin clsica con la flauta. Apenas me escucharon me aceptaron en la orquesta. En Yakima practico con la Tropa de Flautistas de Yakima. Es un grupo de seis flautistas y tocamos msica de coro.

    Yo pienso que sera muy difcil volver a vivir en Mxico. De todas maneras se extraan muchas cosas. Para hablar del futuro tengo que decir lo que hice en el pasado y as poder ver a donde quiero ir en el futuro. Cuando yo llegu vine sin hablar ingls y sin carrera. Saba tocar la flauta pero no tena experiencia. Tom clases de maestra de Kinder pero no recib ttulo profesional. Sigo tomando clases. En el futuro quisiera tener un master en finanzas, educacin y msica. La msica siempre ser una parte de mi vida. Una artista jams se retira.

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    Andrea HernndezBorn in Guanajuato, 1983

    My parents and I came to Yakima in 2004 because my brothers lived here. Ever since I was a little girl Ive loved to dance and I wanted to be a ballet dancer. In Guanajuato I studied modern dance at the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture) but not ballet because I was already fifteen. In Guanajuato I danced with Grupo Albatros. Some day I would like to go back to dance with them. When I came to the Valley I had to work, and I picked and packed cherries. Then came an opportunity to dance again and I gave a performance at a chapel on New Years Day, 2005. I have also had two opportunities to dance at Yakima Valley Community College.

    Before I came here, my only knowledge of this country was from the movies. Its very different from Guanajuato. Here you cant go out very much because everything is so far. Guanajuato is more interesting. I have many plans for the future. I would like to get a degree so I can teach modern dance to children. Someday I would like to open an art school for young people with problems.

    Andrea HernndezNaci en 1983, Guanajuato

    Llegamos a Yakima en 2004 porque aqu viven mis hermanos. Desde nia siempre me gust bailar y quera ser bailarina clsica. En Guanajuato entr en el taller de danza contempornea de La Casa de la Cultura y no a ballet porque ya tena quince aos. En Guanajuato bailaba con el Grupo Albatros. Me gustara regresar a bailar con ellos.

    Cuando llegu a Yakima tuve que trabajar con la cereza y en los empaques. Despus vino una oportunidad de bailar otra vez e hice una presentacin para el da de Ao Nuevo de 2005 en la capilla de una iglesia. Tambin he tenido dos oportunidades para bailar en el Yakima Valley College.

    Antes de venir a Estados Unidos, el nico conocimiento del pas vena de las pelculas. Es muy diferente a Guanajuato. Aqu no se puede salir mucho porque las cosas son muy retiradas. Guanajuato es ms interesante. Planes para el futuro, tengo muchos. Quisiera sacar un diploma para ensear danza contempornea a los nios. Me gustara algn da abrir una escuela de arte para jvenes con problemas.

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    Manuel GonzlezBorn in San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca 1973

    Ive been in Yakima for twelve years. I work in the fields. Fridays and Saturdays I play music with Banda La Palmera. In San Juan I played music too. Banda La Palmera has 16 members and we are all related, brothers and cousins. Five of them are new in the band, and they are learning from us. Our goal is to play professionally some day.

    Manuel GonzlezNaci en 1973, San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca

    Llevo 12 aos en Yakima. Trabajo en el campo. Viernes y sbados toco msica con la Banda Palmera. En San Juan tambin tocaba msica de banda. Banda La Palmera, se compone de 16 elementos: todos familiares, primos y hermanos. Cinco son nuevos y estn aprendiendo de nosotros. Nuestra meta es trabajar con la banda profesionalmente.

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    Armando GonzlezBorn in San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca, 1968

    I came to the Valley in 1988. I like the weather here. First I worked in the fields and now Im packing apples. Music wasnt my vocation. It was a necessity. In the beginning, I lived with 18 guys in a room. Only two of us were working and it wasnt enough to feed everyone. Thats when Manuel Gonzlez and David Morales arrived from Mexico. They are musicians, and I offered to find them instruments. I couldnt play an instrument in those days. They invited more guys and we formed a band. Now we have fourteen members. We all play brass and wind instruments. I learned to be the emcee and rep for the group. We play classic songs that are good for parties. It is our dream to play professionally, but it has not been possible because some of the players do not have their papers; we havent be able to make it happen because some of us have regular jobs and some work under the table. We havent found a sponsor. So far its been just a weekend thing. We have written a few of our own songs and would like to record them some day. The band is called Banda La Palmera. We are all related. Its a family band; we all come from San Juan Huaxtepec.

    The Yakima Valley has changed a lot since my arrival here. In those days you couldnt find a place that made tortillas; it was necessary to travel up to 30 miles to buy them. Now we can buy Mexican food everywhere. Some day I would like to return to San Juan to work in the palm frond industry. My parents are weavers, and their work with palm fronds has always been our bread and butter. They helped us grow up and now I would like to make their work easier by making the palm more accessible.

    Armando GonzlezNaci en 1968, San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca

    Llegu al valle en 1988. Me gusta el clima de Yakima. Trabaj primero en el campo y ahora en el empacadero de manzanas. La msica no era mi vocacin. Fue necesidad. Cuando llegu viva con 18 muchachos en un cuarto. Solo dos trabajbamos y no abasteca para dar de comer a todos. En eso llegaron Manuel Gonzlez y David Morales y como ellos eran msicos les dije que yo les consegua los instrumentos. Yo no saba tocar en esa poca. Ellos invitaron a ms muchachos para iniciar el grupo. Ahora tenemos 14 integrantes. Todos con instrumentos de metal y clarinetes. Yo aprend a locutear a la banda, como

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    animador. Tocamos canciones tpicas que se prestan para fiestas. Es nuestra ilusin tocar profesionalmente pero no se ha podido porque como algunos de nosotros no tenemos papeles no nos hemos podido coordinar debido a que unos trabajan bien y otros no.

    No hemos podido lograr un patrocinador. Hasta ahora ha sido una cosa de fin de semana, nada ms. Tenemos unas melodas nuestras y quisiramos ir un poco ms all y hacer una grabacin. La banda se llama Banda La Palmera. Todos somos parientes. Una banda de familia y todos del mismo pueblo, San Juan Huaxtepec. El Valle de Yakima ha cambiado mucho desde que llegu. Entonces no se encontraba un lugar donde hicieran tortillas y haba que ir ms de 30 millas para comprarlas.

    Ahora por cualquier parte hay antojitos de Mxico. Mi ilusin es poder regresar a San Juan y poder explotar la materia prima, la palma. Mis paps son artesanos y la palma ha sido la subsistencia de todos. Ellos nos ayudaron a crecer y ha sido una ilusin ayudarlos a trabajar haciendo la palma ms accesible.

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    David MoralesBorn in San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca, 1973

    I have been in Yakima for eleven years. We never lack work. I work in the fields, summer and winter. In Mexico I played the clarinet in the philharmonic orchestra of my towntraditional music. Now I play with Banda La Palmera.

    David MoralesNaci en 1973, San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca

    Tengo once aos en Yakima. Aqu no falta trabajo. Yo trabajo en el campo invierno y verano. En Mxico tocaba el clarinete con la banda filarmnica de mi pueblo. Msica tradicional. Ahora toco con Banda La Palmera.


    One of the tasks involved in writing your story is conducting an interview. This can be the best part of story writing, but may also be the most difficult, if you are shy. Dont assume someone will not be willing to speak with you. As a general rule, most people are willing to talk about themselves and what they do. So get out there and give it a try, you will be surprised how much you enjoy the interview process and learning about people. You can then share what you have learned with your readers.


    Una de las labores involucradas en escribir su historia es la de hacer una entrevista. Esto puede ser la mejor parte en el recuento de su historia, pero tambin puede ser la parte ms difcil si usted es tmido. No asuma el qu la otra persona no est dispuesta a hablar con usted. Como regla general, la mayora de la gente est dispuesta a hablar acerca de s misma y a qu se dedica. As que anmese y trate de hacerlo! Usted se sorprender de lo mucho que disfrutar del proceso de entrevistar y de lo que aprender acerca de la gente. Y as, entonces, usted estar listo para compartir lo que ha aprendido con sus lectores.

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    Claudio PeralBorn in San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca, 1969

    I have been living in Yakima for fourteen years. I have been playing music for 15 or 16 years. In Yakima I play with Banda La Palmera. We play for pleasure and we hope that some day we can do it professionally.

    I went back to Oaxaca once, and I found so many changes. I went to visit my family. My children were all born in Yakima. They loved Oaxaca. Upon return to the U.S. I think that my kids felt less free than in Oaxaca. God willing, I would like to go back to live in Mexico one day.

    Claudio PeralNaci en 1969, San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca

    Estoy viviendo en Yakima por catorce aos. Toco msica por 15 16 aos. Aqu en Yakima toco con Banda La Palmera. Tocamos por placer y con la esperanza de algn da tocar profesionalmente.

    Regres a Oaxaca una vez y encontr muchos cambios. Fu de visita con mi familia. Mis hijos son nacidos en Yakima. Les gust mucho. De regreso a Estados Unidos yo creo que mis hijos se sentan menos libres que en Oaxaca. Si Dios quiere, me gustara algn da volver a Mxico a vivir.


    Whenever possible, conduct your interviews in person. If your time is limited, you may conduct telephone interviews. Never conduct an interview via email. When you contact someone, tell them who you are, what you are working on, and where the story will be published. Schedule the interview as far in advance as possible, and dont be late.


    Siempre que le sea posble, conduzca sus entrevistas en persona. Si su tiempo es limitado, conduzca la entrevista por telfono. Nunca realice una ntrevista por el correo electrnico. Cuando usted contacte a alguien, hgales saber quin es usted, la idea de su historia en la qu est usted trabajando y en dnde ser publicada. Pngase de acuerdo en la fecha de la entrevista con mucho tiempo de anticipacin y sea puntual.

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    Rafael VillaseorBorn in Jalisco, 1948

    I have lived in the Yakima Valley for 16 years. I own a restaurant in Toppenish.

    I learned to train horses when I was a kid in Mexico. My father-in-law rented horses, and I learned a lot from him. In Toppenish I have a little ranch with three Andalucian horses. I work with my wife and a group of cowboys, and we give demonstrations in events and parades. Once I took my horses to a show in Seattle.

    I like living in the Valley. Now its just like Mexico. Only the weather is different. Because of the cold, the horses coats get thick this time of year. I want to go back to Mexico to retire. I have a house there and I would like to build a new one.

    Rafael VillaseorNaci en 1948, Jalisco

    Llevo 16 aos en el valle de Yakima. Tengo un restaurante en Toppenish. El entrenamiento de caballos lo aprend de chico en Mxico. Mi suegro era arrendador y lo aprend hacindole preguntas. En Toppenish tengo un rancho con tres caballos de tipo andaluz. Con mi esposa y un grupo de charros hacemos demostraciones y desfiles. Una vez llev mis caballos a Seattle. Estoy a gusto en el valle. Ahora es como Mxico. Slo el clima es distinto. Por el fro los caballos se ponen muy peludos en esta poca. Quiero regresar a Mxico para jubilarme. Tengo casa all y quisiera hacer una nueva.

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    Virginia Jimnez de RodriguezBorn in La Barca, Jalisco, 1953

    I came to Yakima when I was 17 years old. The change was difficult for me, and I was very angry at my parents for bringing me here. I was studying in Guadalajara, and they dragged me away from my school, from my friends and my boyfriend. I didnt want to go to school here and I just worked in the fields. I always told myself, I want to do something else. I dont like working in the fields. But I couldnt see the opportunities. In Guadalajara I had studied to be a bilingual secretary. I spoke a little English and when we came here I was the interpreter for my family.

    After a few years of living here I went back to Guadalajara. I got married, and we lived there for thirteen years. But life was difficult, and we came back to Yakima again to work in the fields, and again I didnt like it. I started to take English classes and to study to be a teacher for parents in a program called Nios Bien Educados (Well Educated Children). I have been teaching this program for thirteen years now.

    For as long as I can remember, I have loved to paint and draw. I paint faces, landscapes, and flowers. I paint religious themes. Ive always wanted to belong somewhere, to feel that I was doing something that I like and at the same time that I was helping my community. I was invited to paint a Christ for the first Catholic Charismatic Meeting in the Valley. It took me less than three days to do it. Since then I have painted many religious works.

    Virginia Jimnez de RodriguezNaci en 1953, La Barca, Jalisco

    Vine a Yakima a los 17 aos. El cambio fue muy fuerte y me dio mucho coraje de que me trajeran mis padres. Yo estudiaba en Guadalajara y me arrancaron de all; de mis amigos, de mi novio, de mis estudios. No quise seguir estudiando aqu y solo trabajaba en el campo. Yo siempre me deca: yo quiero hacer otra cosa, no me gusta trabajar en el campo. Pero no vea las oportunidades. En Guadalajara haba estudiado secretariado bilinge y ejecutivo. Hablaba un poco de ingls y cuando llegamos yo era la intrprete. Despus de algunos aos regres a Guadalajara y me cas. Vivimos all por 13 aos y luego regresamos a Yakima. Otra vez a trabajar en el campo y no a gusto. Empec a tomar clases de ingls y a entrenarme como instructor de padres para un programa llamado Nios Bien Educados,

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    en el cual tengo 13 aos presentando. Desde que tengo uso de la razn me ha gustado la pintura. Pinto rostros, paisajes y flores y temas religiosos. Yo siempre quise pertenecer a algo y sentir que estuviera haciendo algo que me gustara y que de alguna manera ayudar a la comunidad. Me invitaron a que hiciera un Cristo para el primer encuentro carismtico catlico en el valle. Lo hice en menos de tres das. Desde entonces he hecho varios trabajos religiosos.

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    Mara Guadalupe Jimnez de GalvnBorn in La Barca, Jalisco, 1951

    I came to the U.S. with my parents when I was 18 years old. In the beginning I wasnt happy. Life in Jalisco was more interesting. There we had our own business and I worked in a music store where we sold all kinds of music. After coming here the change was very harsh. Because we were field laborers we were always dirty. We resented the change.

    I started singing ranchera music when I was 10 years old. My mothers name was Petra Gonzlez Alvarez, and she was a well-known singer in my town. She had a lovely voice. She recorded several records in Mexico. My father would play the guitar for my mom and they would always ask me to sing with them. I sang at social events where I was paid fifty pesos per song. I sang in contests for amateurs and once I won first prize on Radio Station XLB. Sometimes I would sing at the movie theater in my town. Shortly after we came to Yakima I got to sing on TV and a lot of people heard me. I didnt participate in public events a lot because my father didnt want me to exhibit myself. The next time I go to Mexico I want to sing rancheras at the chapel in my home town for the festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

    Mara Guadalupe Jimnez de GalvnNaci en 1951, La Barca, Jalisco

    Llegu a EEUU con mis padres a los 18 aos. Al principio no estaba contenta. La vida en La barca era ms interesante. All tenamos un negocio propio y yo trabajaba en una discoteca donde se venda toda clase de msica. Al llegar aqu el cambio fue muy brusco. Debido a las labores de campesino andbamos siempre muy sucios. Resentimos mucho el cambio.

    Yo comenc a cantar msica ranchera a los 10 aos. Mi madre se llamaba Petra Gonzlez Alvarez y era una cantante muy conocida en mi pueblo; cantaba muy bonito. Grab varios discos en Mxico. Mi padre tocaba la guitarra para mi mam y siempre me llamaban para que cantara con ellos. Luego comenc a cantar en fiestas sociales donde me pagaban 50 pesos por cancin. Tambin cantaba en concursos de aficionados donde una vez gan primer lugar en la estacin de radio XLB. A veces cantaba en los cines de mi pueblo. Tuve la suerte de que a poco de llegar a Yakima cant en la televisin y mucha gente me escuch.

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    No participaba mucho porque a mi padre no le gustaba que me exhibiera. La prxima vez que vaya a Mxico quisiera cantar en la parroquia de mi pueblo con puro mariachi para la fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe.

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    Mara Socorro Jimnez Born in La Barca, Jalisco, 1956

    I came to the U.S. in 1972, when I was fifteen years old. At first the change was very drastic and depressing but in time we got used to it. I always loved to dance and I didnt sing very often. Once a young man who sang very beautifully came to our house and he gave me singing lessons. To this day I love to sing but I dont do it professionally. I am a hair dresser and I have my own business here in Toppenish. My clients come from all social and ethnic backgrounds.

    The Yakima Valley has changed a lot. Now its as if we have Mexico right here. I like my life here but Im always thinking about going back to live in Mexico. For now I go there every six months. Someday Ill go there to stay.

    Mara Socorro Jimnez Naci en 1956, La Barca, Jalisco

    Llegu a EEUU en 1972 a los 15 aos. Al comienzo el cambio fue muy drstico y deprimente, pero con el tiempo nos acoplamos. A m siempre me gust bailar y no cantaba mucho. Una vez vino a la casa un muchacho que cantaba muy bonito y me dio clases de canto. Hasta hoy el canto me gusta mucho pero no lo hago profesionalmente. Yo soy estilista y tengo mi negocio propio aqu en Toppenish. Mis clientes son de todo grupo social.

    El Valle de Yakima ha cambiado mucho. Ahora parece que tenemos a Mxico aqu. Me gusta todo aqu pero siempre he pensado en regresar a vivir a Mxico. Por ahora voy cada seis meses pero me voy a ir a quedar. A jubilarme.


    Prepare your questions before the interview. Research your topic ahead of time so you are well organized, and use that information to form some of your questions.


    Prepare sus preguntas antes de la entrevista. Averige cul va a ser el tema con tiempo anticipado para que est bien organizado y use esa informacin para pensar en algunas de sus preguntas.

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    Nestor HernndezBorn in Oaxaca, 1977

    I came to the Yakima Valley in 1993 when I was 16 years old. Ive been playing since I was 15. I have a band called Nstor y Sus Amigos and we play at fairs around Washington State. I have a real estate business and my clients are Mexican. The situation has improved, but I still encounter racism in certain parts of town. Through my business Im demonstrating that the buying power of the Hispanic population is important for the general community in Yakima. In the future I would like to return to Mexico to live.

    Nestor HernndezNaci en 1977, Oaxaca

    Llegu al valle de Yakima a los 16 aos en 1993. Me dedico a la msica desde los 15 aos. Tengo un grupo que se llama Nstor y sus Amigos y tocamos en ferias alrededor del estado de Washington. Tengo un negocio de bienes races y mis clientes son mexicanos. La situacin ha mejorado pero an existe un poco de racismo en ciertas partes de la ciudad. Con mi negocio estoy demostrando que el poder adquisitivo de la gente hispana es importante para la comunidad de Yakima. En el futuro, quisiera regresar a vivir a Mxico.


    While you are at your interview, observe your surroundings. What sounds do you hear? What scents linger in the air? What does the place feel like? What is your subject wearing? How does the person act and talk? Look for details. Use your five senses to help you put a sense of place, people, time and drama in your story.


    Mientras usted est llevando a cabo la entrevista, observe qu est pasando a su alrededor. Qu sonidos eschucha?, qu olores penetran en el ambiente?, cmo siente el lugar?, cmo est vestida la persona a la que entrevista?, cmo es qu la persona acta y habla?. Ponga atencin a los detalles. Utilice sus cinco sentidos para ayudarse a formar el ambiente del lugar, los personajes, el tiempo y el drama que va a tener su historia.

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    Mara Guadalupe AvilaBorn in Zamora, Michoacn, 1988

    I came to Yakima when I was four years old. The Yakima Valley is like my country. My parents emigrated because here my father could work in the fields. My mother does not work. Ever since I was little I have loved mariachi music. I started with the guitar, then the guitarron and now Im learning the harp. My teacher is Mr. Salvador Baldovinos. I am not interested in playing professionally, but I would do it occasionally if I were invited to play with a band. I am the only one amongst my friends who likes mariachi music. I love to listen to Mexican romantic music to relax.

    I dont think I would like to live in Mexico. Im used to living here. Im in the twelfth grade and I hope to go to college to study to be a surgery technician so I can work in hospitals and clinics. Music will always be my hobby.

    Mara Guadalupe AvilaNaci en 1988, Zamora, Michoacn

    Llegu a Yakima a los cuatro aos. El Valle de Yakima es como si fuera mi pas. Mis padres emigraron porque aqu haba trabajo para mi pap en el campo. Mi mam no trabaja. Desde chica me ha gustado la msica mariachi. Empec con la guitarra, segu con el guitarrn y ahora estoy aprendiendo el arpa. Mi profesor es el Sr. Salvador Baldovinos. No estoy interesada tocar msica profesionalmente, aunque lo hara si me invitaran a tocar con un conjunto ocasionalmente. Ahorita a ninguno de mis amigos les gusta la msica mariachi. Yo escucho la msica romntica mexicana para relajarme.

    No creo que me gustara vivir en Mxico. Estoy acostumbrada a vivir aqu. Estoy en grado 12 y despus espero ir a un colegio a estudiar tcnica ciruga para trabajar en hospitales y clnicas. La msica seguir siempre pero como pasatiempo.

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    Merced RamrezBorn in San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca, 1970

    I came to Yakima with my husband in 1990. My brother-in-law was already living here. My children were born here. When I was little in San Juan, my father taught me to make hats and other things out of palm fronds. He made them to support the family. My mother also made hats and did embroidery. Here in Yakima I do some sewing but we dont have palm fronds to make hats. I also work packing apples.

    My father is a musician in Mexico. He plays the saxophone. My husband and his brothers are musicians too. There are a lot of people from our town in Yakima. We come to work. To prosper. Although each day it gets more difficult to come here, people are still coming, and they always find work. I intend to go to school to learn English. I speak it and understand it, but not well enough.

    Merced RamrezNaci en 1970, San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca

    Vine a Yakima con mi esposo en 1990. Mi cuado ya viva aqu. Mis hijos nacieron aqu. Cuando era pequea, en San Juan mi pap me ense a hacer sombreros y otras cositas de palma. l lo haca para mantenernos. Mi mam tambin haca sombreros y costura. Aqu en Yakima tejo carpetas pero no sombreros porque no tengo los materiales, la palma. Tambin trabajo en el empaque de manzanas. Mi esposo y sus hermanos son msicos.

    Mi padre es msico en Mxico. Toca el saxofn. Hay muchos de nuestro pueblo en Yakima. Venimos a trabajar. A prosperar. A pesar que cada da es ms difcil venir, por los papeles. Siempre viene la gente y encuentra trabajo. Yo pienso ir al colegio para aprender el ingls. Lo hablo y lo entiendo pero no lo suficiente.

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    Salvador BalvodinosBorn in Michoacn, 1948

    The first time I came to the U.S. I went to Greenfield, California. I started playing the guitar when I was very young but after I lost a finger at work I learned to play the harp. In Salinas, California I started a band, and I named it Los Campesinos de Michoacn. We chose the name because almost all the people that come from Michoacn come to work in the fields. We came to Yakima in 1987. We have seven records. Some of the musicians in the band have been playing together for over 14 years. Thanks to the Washington Arts Commission I give classes to young people interested in Mexican music. Many of them were born here but their parents are from Mexico, and they want to preserve their parents traditions. Once I received an award from Governor Locke recognizing my work as a teacher.

    Music is not enough to make a living so I also drive trucks.

    Life in the Yakima Valley has gotten better for Mexicans. The first time I came in 1975 there were not many Mexicans and hardly any Mexican art. Today you can find Mexican culture everywhere. I think 80% of the population in the Valley is Mexican. Everything I have is here in the U.S. You have to be positive about things. If you want to, you can learn anything. It may not be easy, but if you set your mind to it, you can do anything

    Salvador BalvodinosNaci en 1948, Michoacn

    La primera vez que vine a Estados Unidos fue a Greenfield, California. Empec a tocar guitarra desde muy pequeo pero perd un dedo en el trabajo y no poda tocar ms la guitarra y agarr el arpa. En Salinas, California form un grupo que se llam Los Campesinos de Michoacn. Casi toda la gente de Michoacn que viene a este pas viene a trabajar en el campo y por eso mi grupo se llama as. Llegamos a Yakima en 1987, tenemos seis discos. En el grupo algunos de los msicos estamos tocando juntos por ms de 14 aos. A travs del Washington Arts Commission doy clases a jvenes interesados en la msica mexicana. Muchos son nacidos aqu de padres mexicanos y desean seguir las races de sus paps.

    El Governador Locke me hizo un reconocimiento en honor a mi trabajo de profesor.

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    La msica no me da lo suficiente para vivir y tuve que sacar mi licencia para chofer de camiones. La vida en Yakima ha mejorado para los mexicanos. La primera vez que vine en 1975, no haba muchos mexicanos y nada de arte de Mxico. Hoy hay de todo mexicano. Pienso que la poblacin del valle es 80% mexicano. Hacemos de cuenta que estamos en Mxico. Para regresar a Mxico, sera slo de visita. Todo lo que tengo, lo tengo aqu en Estados Unidos. Para vivir hay que ser positivo. Si uno quiere puede aprender cualquier cosa. Nada es fcil pero todo se puede hacer.

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    Mara Elisa Rivera de BaldovinosBorn in Michoacn, 1960

    I came to the U.S. when I got married in 1981. I sang with my husbands band (Salvador Baldovinos) when they recorded their first two records. These days I do a lot of sewing, embroidery, and needlepoint. I do it mostly for the pleasure I get from it although a few years ago I had an exhibition at the Folklife Festival in Seattle. I learned to sew from my aunts in Michoacn. They would do it to decorate their home and the horses; they would embroider the name of the horses owner and place it under the saddle.

    Mara Elisa Rivera de BaldovinosNaci en 1960, Michoacn

    Vine a Estados Unidos cuando me cas en 1981. Cantaba en el conjunto de mi esposo (Salvador Baldovinos) cuando grab sus dos primeros discos. Hoy me dedico a las costuras, tejidos, y labrados; punto cruz. Mis tejidos los hago por el placer de hacerlos aunque hace unos aos tuve una exposicin el Festival de Folklife de Seattle. Aprend a coser de mis tas en Michoacn. Ellas lo hacan para adornar su casa y los caballos: se ponan bajo la montura del caballo y tenan letras para identificar al dueo del animal.


    At the end of the interview, look over your questions to make sure you asked them all. Be sure to ask the person if theres anything else he/she wants to add. That last question is really important and something that may add the missing element to your story. Dont forget to thank them for their time, and ask permission to call them back if you have further questions once youve gone through your notes.


    Al final de la entrevista, revise sus preguntas para asegurarse de qu ya las ha hecho todas. Tambin asegrese de preguntarle a la persona entrevistada si ha ella le gustara aadir algo ms. Esta pregunta es de suma importancia ya que le puede proporcionar el elemento que haca falta en su historia. No se olvide de agradecerles por su tiempo y pdales permiso para volverles a hablar pos ti tiene algunas dudas o preguntas despus de haber revisado todas sus notas.

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    Leticia GonzlezBorn in San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca, 1974

    I came to Yakima in 1999. My husband Armando Gonzlez already lived here. I learned to weave in San Juan. My grandparents taught me. They would take their weavings, mostly hats, to other towns to sell them. I stopped weaving here because I lacked the materials, until recently when I was able to bring palm fronds from Mexico. I would like a chance to market my weaving here now. I learned embroidery at school when I was a young girl.

    We have two kids and for now I plan to stay in Yakima, but who knows about the future. I would like to learn more here. In Mexico I studied to be a hair stylist, and I would like to do that here too.

    Leticia GonzlezNaci en 1974, San Juan Huaxtepec, Oaxaca

    Llegu a Yakima en 1999. Mi esposo Armando Gonzlez resida aqu. Aprend a tejer en San Juan. Mis abuelos me ensearon. Llevaban los tejidos (sombreros) a otra parte a planchar y los vendan. Aqu deje de tejer por falta de materiales pero luego traje palma de Mxico. Si hay oportunidad quisiera venderlos aqu tambin. El bordado lo aprend en la escuela de chica.

    Tengo dos nios y por el momento pienso quedarme en Yakima pero en el futuro quien sabe. Me gustara aprender ms aqu. En Mxico estudi el estilizado y me gustara seguirlo aqu.

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    ___________________________________________________________________________Interviewer Name / Nombre Del Entrevistador

    ___________________________________________________________________________Subject Name / Nombre De La Persona a Entrevista

    ___________________________________________________________________________Date / La Fecha

    ___________________________________________________________________________Questions / Las Preguntas














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