Chicano Cultural Heritage Month

By Luis Peña

On June 23rd, 2022 Mayor Vigil will proclaim August as Chicano Cultural Heritage Month (CCHM) for the City of Española, NM. The goal of CCHM is to “celebrate, educate and elevate” Chicanx culture in the City of Española. The first celebration of CCHM will occur on August 29th, 2022, on the 52nd anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium of East Los Angeles in protest of the Vietnam War. The celebration will occur at the Healing Foods Oasis (HFO) in Valdez Park beginning at 6PM. The gathering will be small for the inaugural year but will include a public reading of the proclamation, music, poetry, and dialogue with the community. CCHM was directly inspired by the City of Santa Ana, California’s proclamation of National Chicano Heritage Month in 2022. In addition to the Chicano Moratorium, August holds many significant dates for Chicanx and Indigenous relatives alike. The intent is to honor those relations as we build capacity in addressing many of the social conditions that the Chicano Movement sought to address. Why Española? The Española Valley has been at the center of many Chicanx achievements and struggles. Unless they are lucky enough to have an elder as a primary source or access to Chicano Studies, many young people in the Española Valley are unaware of the significance of Northern NM in the struggle for self-determination of Chicano people and their contributions to  “education, public safety, infrastructure, economic development, language, arts, and governance (among others).”

A small group of volunteers has come together to begin planning for CCHM for 2023 in hopes of building a collaboration with the Española Public Library as a location for hosting platicas, performance and poetry, educational materials, oral histories, and movie screenings to offer opportunities for the public to educate themselves on aspects of Chicano history and culture that they may not be aware of. In addition, we hope to work with the lowrider community in hosting car shows and cruise nights that specifically honor Chicano, Chicana, and Chicanx culture in the Española Valley. We hope that these spaces offer an opportunity to raise awareness to the social conditions that inspired so many Chicanos, Chicanas, and their allies to rise up in the past to chart a new course for the future. We honor them by remembering and by working to continue the fight. La Lucha Sigue!



One comment

  1. We the Northern RioGrande National Heritage Area wish to be part of your Chicano Cultural Heritage month activities. The NRGNHA honors and advocates for the multicultural heritage and legacy un fhe Rio Arriba/Taos/Santa Fe Counties area. Our office/headquarters is located in Espanola, NM Contact David Fernandez at 575-758-7608, or Margaret Campos Executive Director at 505-396-1765. Gracias

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