“It is important to know your history and understand where you come from, especially when your community, ethnicity and race has been mistreated throughout history. It is not only a way to feel empowered but to overcome the damage that has been inflicted on your self esteem.” – Marjorie Mcintosh, who spearheaded the Latino History project.
On Sunday February 23, from 2pm to 4pm, the Boulder Public Library will host a special Latinx history event organized by Families of Color of Boulder and the Boulder County Latino History Project.
The event will reflect on the rich history of Latinos in Boulder County and will also honor Marjorie McIntosh for her contributions to the Latino History Project which began in 2013. Jason Romero, the Director of the Latino History Project, told KGNU that he first got involved with the project as an intern when he was a student in CU Boulder.
“I was one of the videographers who went out there and recorded a lot of these stories. And so that was a really cool experience for me, just to be a part of all of that initial work for the Latino History Project. And then over the past few years, the project has really begun to focus on different communities outside of just Boulder County. So at this point the Latino History Project has gone to places like Pueblo, Trinidad, the San Luis Valley, Alamosa. And this summer we’re actually going to be heading to the Roaring Fork Valley.”
Romero says the project collects stories, images and artifacts from local Latino communities and from local Latino families and puts them on the Latino history project website. The project then pushes that information out in the community by running community and teacher workshops in order to get this history out into the classrooms and to the students in the community.
“A lot of the work that we do is with K through 12 educators. And so as a Chicano studies teacher, that’s been really important for me because I’ve used a lot of these resources in my own curriculum. So even things that are local to Boulder County, things like the KKK and some of the different things that happened around that here in Boulder and how that targeted Latinos in this area, those things were…very shocking to a lot of students, but it also got them really engaged with learning their own history, their own stories.”
The program on Sunday February 23 takes place in the Canyon Theater of the Boulder Public Library. It is free and open to the public. Linda Arroyo-Holmstrom will be one of the speakers providing an overview of the Boulder County Latino History Project and a history of Latino presence in Boulder’s Goss Grove Neighborhood from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. Tom Martinez will speak about his mother Emma Gomez Martinez’s contributions as an advocate, a businesswoman and much more. Phil Hernandez will talk about migration and the movement of people from Mexico, Northern New Mexico, Southern Colorado into the Boulder County area, as well as talking about the forced repatriation of communities and forced deportations that started in the 1930s and have continued to happen all the way up until the current times.