By: Voces Staff
Diana Fernandez was born in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She grew up in a newly developed, integrated neighbored designed to serve people working at the Navy base. Pursuing higher education was not a continuous topic of discussion in Fernandez’s household but it was expected of her and her two sisters. Living in an integrated neighborhood allowed Fernandez to also experience that same integration in the classroom at Incarnate Word Academy. The all-girl school included students from nearby cities.
By Estefanía de León
Alma Salinas, a lifelong Democrat, switched to the nascent Raza Unida Party in the 1970s. A native of Pearsall, Texas, Salinas used to take Mexican Americans to the polls on election days. But it seemed the Democratic Party, which the community supported, was doing little to improve their lives.
"We thought going to vote would make a difference, but then we found out that the ones sitting in the Democratic chair have the say so you can't go further," said Salinas, who is now 82.
By Stacie Richard
When Yolanda Treviño graduated from Pearsall High School in 1959, she was determined to make her life elsewhere. The racism of the small town was too confining.
"I left Pearsall because of the racism," said Treviño. "I just couldn't stomach it. I wasn't coming back… Education was my way out."
By Jacob Martella
Coming back from the Korean War, Adolfo Alvarez knew he had to do something with his life.
He had survived nine months along the 38th Parallel holding the line against the North Koreans, not knowing if he would return to his family in the United States. Now, he wanted to make a difference for the Hispanics in South Texas.
"I said to myself if I make it back, I'm not going to raise hell, but I'm going to do something constructive so that this would not be in vain," Alvarez said.