A grandmother’s story of her childhood in rural Mexico and her family’s decision to come to the United States allows her granddaughter to feel pride in their family legacy of endurance and courage. This is an ideal book for exploring issues of migration, immigration and family legacies.
My work of many years with migrant farm working families has been one of the most enriching experiences in my life. I reflect on how much I have been inspired by their lives of struggle and resilience, by their dignity and family values, in my memoirs Vivir en dos idiomas. These experiences have also inspired much of my writing. The poems of Gathering the Sun are a tribute to their lives. Suni Paz has created original music for those poems and recorded as songs in a CD with the same title. In the book Imágenes del pasado, I have included a piece, “Teatro campseino, ¡que florezca la luz!” about the important role of the Teatro campesino in the Farm workers struggle. Isabel Campoy and I have written the biographies of César Chavez, for the book Paths or Caminos in the series Gateways to the Sun or Puertas al sol and the biography of Luis Valdes for the book Voices or Voces of the same series.
In this book I have incorporated many anecdotes told to me by various families and by some of my doctoral students along the years. I wanted to create a coherent narrative that will show the plight of the Mexican campesinos, their love of family, and their determination to struggle to support their loved ones. The hard working spirit, the resilience, the solidarity, and the love passed on through generations in this story all reflect the values I have witnessed in hundreds of farm working families and wanted to honor.
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