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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DReamers, visionaries & Leaders celebrate National


Presented by

Sponsored by

w w w. v v d a i l y p r e s s . c o m

In partnership with



The theme for this year's Hispanic Heritage Month is “Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success.” The objective of this publication is to recognize the Hispanic contributions to our American history-Legacy. Recognize the community service and professional accomplishments of local citizens -Action and motivate our youth to “Know Your History” and exceed the achievements of the previous generations-Success.


We are incredibly proud of our partnership with the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of Eric Camarena, Chairman of the Board. In this, our second issue we recognize and honor 6 outstanding individuals selected by the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Their profiles are featured in their own words along with interesting articles and Hispanic history are spotlighted. A sincere thank you to the Daily Press, Al Frattura, Steve Hunt, Angie Callahan, Micki Brown, Fernando Torres and staff. To my DVL TEAM, Maggie, Theresa, Mike, Yvonne, Barbara, Benn, Jennifer & Grayson, THANK YOU for your continued hard work and dedication to the vision. A very special Thank you to all of our generous sponsors; Victorville Motors, Desert Valley Hospital & Medical Group, Victor Valley Global Medical Center, Choice Medical Group, Molina Healthcare of California, DCB, Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group and San Bernardino County Library (Newton Bass Apple Valley & Hesperia). Without your partnership this project would not be possible! In the words of Eric Camarena, “Be reminded that Hispanics come from many different backgrounds and have many different stories, but we all share in the American Spirit!” Respectfully,

Regina Weatherspoon-Bell DVL Founder & Editor

The DVL Project is an affiliate fund of the High Desert Community Foundation

The High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is proud to join Gi & Associates in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage month was enacted by President Lyndon Johnson and then expanded to last 30 days in 1988 by Ronald Reagan. The purpose is to honor the contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States of America. From business owners to astronauts, to artists and politicians, Hispanics have long played an important role in the growth and development of our country. The mission of the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is to promote the economic development of the culturally diverse small businesses within the High Desert through education, networking, advocacy and business community partnerships. We strive to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals to share information that contributes to economic, social, civic and community development. We also serve the community by addressing the needs of the underprivileged through both assistance and opportunity. It is with great pleasure that we honor Chico Garza, Angela Valles, Omar Alfaro, Debby Benton, and Deacon Joker as our 2014 Dreamers, Visionaries and Leaders. In addition we honor Irma Aguilar, for her lifetime of dedication to the Victor Valley. Thank you for all that you continue to do to make the High Desert community a better place! On behalf of the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors, I would like to wish you all a wonderful Hispanic Heritage Month. Be reminded that Hispanics come from many different backgrounds and have many different stories, but we all share in the American Spirit! Eric J Camerena Chairman of the Board

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH Publisher: Amy Pack Editor: Regina Weatherspoon-Bell Proof Reader: B. Morrow-Williams DVL Profile Photographer: Yvonne Hernandez Hispanic Heritage Facts Compiled by: Felix G. Diaz Page Design & Layout: Micki Brown, Special Sections Editor Cover Design: Daily Press Graphic Design Staff


Message from HD Hispanic Chamber


Message from DVL



Debby Benton


ebby Benton, a long time Hesperia resident, has deep family roots tied to the rich history and growth of several Southern California communities. She is a descendant of the Palomares and Sepulveda families who directly contributed to settling several key geographic regions in Southern California during the 1800's. During her entire 25 plus years in a career encompassing communications, marketing, advertising and business, one central core belief has been critical to her motivation and passion for community: to help make the High Desert a great place for families and people to live, work and do business. A strong advocate for community issues impacting families, children and businesses, Debby's career has included serving on the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce Board and as marketing advisor for over ten years for the High Desert Hispanic Chamber's Cinco de Mayo events. She is a staunch and passionate supporter of the rights of families and children. She regularly participates in supporting and promoting major High Desert community events that positively impact families, women and children including Today's Women, Toys for Tots, Fill the Ambulance and the Coldwell Banker Homesource Home Makeover community outreach programs. A passionate animal lover, Debby also contributed her time and energy for many years to the Pal Humane Society. As a well-known local business woman, her professional background includes radio and television advertising expertise highlighted by serving as a volunteer committee member for High Desert Opportunity, whose mission is to promote businesses doing business in the Victor Valley. Debby lives in Hesperia with her husband Mark. She is mother to four children and grandmother to eleven grandchildren. Debby works building local businesses as an Account Executive at El Dorado Broadcasting, also known as Y-102, KAT Country, Fox 106.5 FM and Talk 960-AM.

Deacon Joker


f you visit Set-Free Christian Fellowship during the week you will find me sitting at a desk waiting to hand out food or give out towels and soap for showers to the Homeless and low income people. My name is Deacon Joker. Yes, that's right, Deacon Joker. I was born in East L.A. and attended all the local schools. Unfortunately, I got caught up in a negative lifestyle that included being a gang member and doing drugs. That life sent me to prison for several years. One thing I learned in there was that I never wanted to go back. The price I paid was that I lost communication with my loved ones. My life had to change. But I wasn't ready for a change and I ended up living on the streets of Skid Row in Los Angeles in a cardboard box. I know what is like not to have food and not to be able to take a shower or shave. I know what it is like to wear the same clothes for months. I knew why people did not want to be near me and would keep their distance. I smelled and looked scary. One day I met a man who was “tired of being sick and tired”, a phrase used by drug users when they want to clean up. He was going to the Set-Free Men's Ranch in Cabazon and asked me if I wanted to go with him. I said “yes.” The best answer I could have given. I went with the intention of completing a thirty day program and ended up staying a year and a half. I gave my life over to God. I became a Brother and then God blessed me with an Overseer position. I oversaw twenty men in a house and helped them to get to know God. Unlike prison, no one there sees race or color. In prison being a Mexican I was always battling “blacks” and “whites.” I learned to hate, but at Set-Free I learned to love all my brothers. I left the ranch thinking I could handle life on my own. I was wrong. I was still weak and easily influenced by the world. But God still had His hands on me and a plan for my life. So back to the ranch I went. They welcomed me and helped me to recover my health and faith. That was in 2005, and I have lived a clean and healthy life since that time. I am now the Director and ordained Deacon at J<<;<8:FEAFB<I›G8><((


Hispanic Heritage & History Facts There are approximately 53 million individuals of Hispanic ancestry in the United States today. Hispanics are the largest ethnic or race minority in the United States, making up approximately 17% of the population. It is estimated that by the year 2060, the Hispanic population in the United States will constitute approximately 31% of the population.

The following states all have a Hispanic population of at least 500,000 = Washington, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, California and Arizona. There are approximately 1.1 million veterans of the United States armed forces who are Hispanic or Latino. Famous writers and journalists with Hispanic heritage include Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Oscar Hijuelos, Maria Hinojosa, Geraldo Rivera, Louis Santeiro, and Gary Soto. Famous actors and actresses with Hispanic heritage include Desi Arnaz, Lynda Carter, Sammy Davis Jr., Cameron Diaz, Emilio Estevez, America Ferrera, Andy Garcia, Salma Hayek, Rita Hayworth, Raul Julia, Jennifer Lopez, Anthony Quinn and Charlie Sheen. Famous singers with Hispanic heritage include Linda Ronstadt, Jennifer Lopez, Sammy Davis Jr., Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan, Trini Lopez, Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana, Selena, and Rita Moreno. Famous athletes with Hispanic heritage include Roberto Alomar, Jose Canseco, Oscar De La Hoya, Scott Gomez, Pedro Martinez, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez and Nancy Lopez. Leaders and Activists with Hispanic heritage include Joan Baez, Cesar Chavez, David Barkley, Linda Chavez-Thompson, and Ernesto Galarza. Famous scientists with Hispanic heritage include Severo Ochoa, Luis Walter Alvarez, and Mario Molina (Nobel Prize winners), and Ellen Ochoa, Franklin Chang-Diaz, and Carlos Noriega (astronauts). â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Hispanic History Facts were compiled by Felix Diaz


Of the Hispanic population in the United States, approximately 65% are from a Mexican heritage.


2014 DVL Hispanic Heritage Special Library Program Come out to meet and talk with our Dreamers, Visionaries & Leaders (DVL) honorees during Hispanic Heritage Month events at the Hesperia & Apple Valley Libraries:




Tuesday, September 23rd Storytime Reader: DVL Hispanic Heritage Honoree Time:11:30am

Thursday, September 25th Storytime Reader DVL Hispanic Heritage Honoree Time: 10:30am-11:30am

Wednesday, September 24th Guest Panel Speakers Time: 3:30pm-4:15pm DVL Hispanic Heritage Honorees: Irma Aguilar Lifetime Achievement Honoree Marcelino Chico Garza Councilwoman Angela Valles Debby Benton Deacon Joker

Thursday, September 25th Guest Panel Speakers Time: 3:30pm-4:15pm DVL Hispanic Heritage Honorees: Irma Aguilar Lifetime Achievement Honoree Marcelino Chico Garza Councilwoman Angela Valles Debby Benton Deacon Joker

Tuesday, October 14th Storytime Reader DVL Hispanic Heritage Honoree Time: 11:30am

Apple Valley Newton T. Bass Branch is located at 14901 Dale Evans Parkway; (760) 247-2022

Hesperia Library is located at 9560 7th Avenue, Hesperia; (760) 244-4898

For more information, contact (760) 242-2487 or visit us online: www.dvlproject.com

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrating Hispanic Americans, their culture and contributions to the United States

For more information, call 760.243.2140 or visit www.dcbk.org


ngela Valles was born and raised in the Victor Valley and is vehement about improving the quality of life in Victorville. Angela is no stranger to overcoming difficult obstacles. Angela became a mother at the age of 16, had to drop out of school and focus on becoming a mother. Angela had to grow up fast, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams. Angela went back to school to earn her associate’s degree from Victor Valley College. After receiving her associate’s degree she entered the male-dominated industry of corrections, where she had to not only earn the respect of her colleagues, but also of the adult male prisoners being housed there. In just eight years she worked her way up to the position of warden at the Victor Valley Medium Community Correctional Facility, which was later bought by San Bernardino County. While working for the correctional facility, education came calling again and she worked to get her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. Angela went on to receive an International Master’s degree in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. Angela achieved all of these goals while raising two beautiful and successful children. Angela’s son Emmanuel is an Air Force Veteran that currently works in management for BNSF whiling studying law. Angela’s daughter Alissa is a correctional officer in the High Desert. Both of her beautiful children are married and have blessed her with grandchildren Ethan and Sophia. She now serves as a Councilwoman on the Victorville City Council, as Director of Administration for Victor Valley Waste Water Reclamation Authority, and was Past Board President of Victor Valley College. In her own words, Angela says she truly believes in “Service above self, I serve on several other boards and committees in my community. My experience in Organizational Development helped me make a great difference on the Victorville City Council, helping to get the city back on track financially and transparently.” J<<:FLE:@CNFD8E8E><C8M8CC<J›G8><((


Marcelino Chico Garza


fter twenty three years of military service “Chico” Garza retired from the U.S. Army. His focus has always been to serve youth and the community which he put into practice mentoring over 160 youths. His educational background is in psychology and business which enables him to work effectively to identify and meet the needs of individuals, schools, and businesses. Mr. Garza built a communication corporation that included the FM radio station, KIX106. He used the power of media to promote and advance local businesses and community-based organizations. The corporation developed the first local youth program with DJs from Victorville Elementary Unified School District (VEUSD) hosting weekly Saturday morning programs whose themes included ethics, family values, and education. In addition, the corporation hosted an internship program that brought students from Victor Valley Unified High School District (VVUHSD) for a two year program which focused on marketing, programming, editing, and sales. Mr. Garza currently serves as a Special Assistant to the Superintendent of San Bernardino County Schools, Dr. Gary Thomas. In this position, he uses over 30 years of experience working with schools, communities and businesses throughout the state of California. Bringing his experience and passion to this position, Mr. Garza challenges students to achieve personal dreams, meet high academic standards and to contribute to a quality workforce. He also works closely with parents through a curriculum he developed called the 12 Powers of Family Business. Through his commitment to his community, he uses this program to promote and encourage a solid family life that prepares children to become productive, educated adults. “Empowering parents with confidence, knowledge and self-esteem is important because they are the first teachers of their children,” he acknowledges. He makes himself available to meet personally with families, often meeting with the entire family in their home to work through a particular issue. Featured in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County media, he also facilitates numerous workshops including Verbal Judo, J<<D8I:<C@EF:?@:F>8IQ8›G8><((


Councilwoman Angela Valles





Compilation of First Hispanics in Government, Science, Arts & Sports Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency: General Elwood "Pete" Quesada helped create this agency to manage the growing aviation field and improve airline safety. He served in this position from 1958 to 1961. The agency became the Federal Aviation Administration in 1966.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice: Sonia Sotomayor, 2009. She is also the third woman to hold the position. Medal of Honor recipient: Philip Bazaar, a Chilean member of the U.S. Navy, for bravery during the Civil War. He received his Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865. Admiral, U.S. Navy: David G. Farragut. In 1866, he became the first U.S. naval officer ever to be awarded the rank of admiral. The first Hispanic American to become a four-star admiral was Horacio Rivero of Puerto Rico, in 1964. General, U.S. Army: Richard E. Cavazos, 1976. In 1982, he became the army's first Hispanic four-star general. Astronaut: Franklin Chang-DĂ&#x192;ÂŹaz, 1986. He flew on a total of seven space-shuttle missions. The first female Hispanic astronaut was Ellen Ochoa, whose first of four shuttle missions was in 1991. Nobel Prize in Physics: Luiz Walter Alvarez, 1968, for discoveries about subatomic particles. Later, he and his son proposed the now-accepted theory that the mass dinosaur extinction was caused by a meteor impact. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Severo Ochoa, 1959, for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Oscar, Best Actor: Jose Ferrer, 1950, Cyrano de Bergerac. Oscar, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1961, West Side Story. In 1977, Moreno became the first Hispanic American (and the second person ever) to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, picking up the last of those for her performance as guest host on The Muppet Show. Oscar, Best Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn, 1952, Viva Zapata!. Broadcaster of the Year: Geraldo Rivera, 1971. Baseball Hall of Fame inductee: Roberto Clemente, 1973. He was also the first Hispanic player to serve on the Players Association Board and to reach 3,000 hits. Team owner: Arturo Moreno bought the Anaheim Angels in 2003, becoming the first Hispanic owner of any major U.S. sports franchise. In 2005, he renamed it the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Football Hall of Fame inductee: Tom Fears, 1970. He also became the first Hispanic American head coach in 1967. Entertainer on the cover of TIME magazine: Joan Baez, 1962.


U.S. Surgeon General: Antonia Coello Novello, 1990-1993. She was also the first woman ever to hold the position.


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Set-Free Christian Fellowship. Serving the community by caring for others who are sometimes forgotten or shunned is my way of passing on the blessings that I have received from God. Being a Mexican has helped me in communicating with many of the people I serve. Some have become like family.


All of Angela’s life she has sought out challenges and risen above them. Angela’s passion is to make a positive difference, and Victorville needs to start moving in a positive direction. In everything Angela does she tries to reflect the sentiment of her favorite Erma Bombeck quote: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me”.

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40 Developmental Assets, Framework of Poverty, Steve Swayback's Leadership Training, 12 Powers of Family Business, Positive Parenting, and Attachment-based Parenting. As a result of his wide recognition and the praise for his community involvement, Mr. Garza is often an invited speaker at conferences, graduation ceremonies, awards banquets, and business seminars throughout California.


Omar Alfaro


mar Alfaro was born and raised in Upland, California and moved to San Bernardino with his family as a child. He is the oldest of three children with a younger sister and a brother. The Familia relocated to Apple Valley in 1992 to start a family restaurant called Las Brisas Restaurant, a very popular place in the Village of Apple Valley. Omar finished High School in 1997 and obtained an Associate's Degree in Business. He returned to Apple Valley after college to help run the family business with his parents. But it wasn't long before he decided that he needed to test his restaurant knowledge in Las Vegas. He started as a waiter at Wolf Gang Puck Restaurant in the MGM Grand and then moved on to becoming a bartender. After two years, he decided that he had enough of “Vegas” and returned to Apple Valley. Someone asked him, “Would you like to sell houses and make big commission checks?” The answer was obvious--as a 23 year old, all he heard was “BIG c ommission checks!” So he said, “Let's go!” Omar started his real estate career as an eager 23 year old and soon purchased his first home a year later. He learned the dynamics of selling real estate from some veterans whose old school ways he incorporated with some new school ways to attract the potential investment clients who were interested in buying and selling real estate. He next partnered up with another person to open a new real estate business in Victorville called Good Deal Realty. He successfully gained and represented many new clients through creative marketing campaigns and many referrals from satisfied customers. The day everything changed for Mr. Alfaro was a day in November 2006 when his daughter was born. He became even more motivated and began to really consider the real estate industry as his career. The market was booming and everyone was making a killing, but then the industry crashed. People were losing their homes left and right. As the market tanked, so did a lot of the buyers and sellers. Omar, however, began asking around for potential capital from some investors, and after a couple months of asking, someone finally said “yes!” He was off to the races buying apartments, houses, and a commercial building. He represented more investors buying property and fixing them up and making a profit. Later, he would began doing “flips” by purchasing distressed, bank owned and “short sale” houses fixing them up to earn a profit. For the last two years Mr. Alfaro and a partner have flipped about 15 properties. He continues, however, to help the family at Las Brisas Restaurant on the weekends, making time for new and past clients, overseeing the quality of work on his properties, and spending quality time with his daughter.




Lifetime Achievement Honoree —



rma Pastrana Aguilar was born March 16, 1956, in San Bernardino, California. She has been a resident of the High Desert for over 30 years. Married with three children who are now young adults, she has been a colon cancer survivor for over four years.


Irma learned the value of volunteering at a young age by playing guitar for her church and doing yard work for her elderly neighbor. Her volunteering led her to become a church youth group leader at the age of 20. Her responsibilities included taking a group of youth for Thanksgiving Dinner at an Orphanage in Mexicali, Mexico. The youth group played games and provided dinner and gifts for the orphans. This proved to be a joyful and an eye-opening experience for everyone, but especially for Irma. She continued to volunteer her time for numerous groups and organizations including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the High Desert as well as the Hispanic Chamber in Fontana. Irma served on the board of the Sinfonia Mexicana in San Bernardino and the GI Forum Education Foundation in Victorville. She is a founding member and President of the San Bernardino County Theater Arts Youth Education Foundation. Irma has also volunteered for organizations including, A Better Way Foundation for domestic violence, The High Desert Black Heritage Committee, National Council of Negro Women, San Bernardino County Museum, Barstow Veterans Home and convalescent homes, colleges, schools and churches throughout the High Desert community. In 1990, Irma began teaching Folklorico dance on a volunteer basis at Holy Family Church and then with the Hesperia Parks and Recreation Department. As a result she has been blessed to be able to teach multiple generations of families. Her students quickly become part of her extended family and she takes them under her wing and nurtures them as if they were her own “children.” Her students perform at various events throughout the High Desert community wearing the costumes that Irma designs and sews for them. She also builds the props and head pieces for her dance group. Irma still serves as the Artistic Director of the “Ballet Folklorico Flores del Desierto,” formally known as “Ballet Folklorico de Hesperia.” She is owner and operator of the Multi-Cultural Dance Center in Hesperia. Her diverse background in dance includes jazz, tap, ballet, Salsa and Polynesian dance. Irma stages quinceañera and cotillion waltzes for numerous individuals and organizations. Her multi-cultural productions have been presented at many Southland locations including the Los Angeles County Fair, San Bernardino County Fair, the National Orange Show with Freddie Fender, the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Happy Trails Organization, and Victor Valley College, along with numerous school festivals, grand openings, weddings and charity fundraisers. Irma has directed the annual production of Dia de los Muertos, as well as Las Posadas, and Cinco de Mayo at various locations including the High Desert, San Bernardino, and San Diego. Her greatest joy in life has been to watch her students perform and to see the joy that it brings to her students and their families.




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)257+(7+<($5,1$52: HERITAGE VICTOR VALLEY MEDICAL GROUP HAS RECEIVED THE PRESTIGIOUS ELITE STATUS From California Association of Physicians Groups (CAPG) Standards of Excellence Survey:


Our thanks go out to each of our primary care physicians and specialists who give their best every day to provide the highest quality healthcare!




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Cultural Venues MUSEUM OF LATIN AMERICAN ART http://www.molaa.com/ 628 Alamitos, Long Beach, CA 90802 562) 437-1689 MOLAA is dedicated to showcase contemporary artwork by artists from Latin America.


THE LATINO MUSEUM OF HISTORY, ART AND CULTURE http://www.thelatinomuseum.com/ 514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 626-7600 TLM holds a unique collection of works from emerging and

established contemporary Mexican, Chicano and Latino artists working in the USA. THE BOWERS MUSEUM OF CULTURAL ART http://www.bowers.org/ 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706 (714) 567-3600 The Bowers has an extensive collection of pre-columbian art and offers various activities celebrating El Día de los Muertos and Las Posadas. SALT FINE ART GALLERY http://saltfineart.com/exhibitions.php 1492 South Pacific Coast Highway,

Unit 3, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-5554 This gallery showcases artwork by artists from Latin America. LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART http://www.lacma.org 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 857-6000 LACMA has a building that displays American and Latin American art. NORTON SIMON MUSEUM OF ART http://www.nortonsimon.org/

411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91105-1825 (626) 449-6840 NSM has paintings from well known artists such as Goya, Picasso, Gris, Zurbaran, Murillo, and El Greco. SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART http://www.sdmart.org/ 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California (619) 232-7931 SDMA has paintings from well known artists such as Goya, Miró, Picasso, Dalí, El Greco and Tamayo.

Our primary purpose is to help establish and preserve the legacy of the High Desert’s evolving cultural diversity. We support education through Legacy Scholarships and encourage cultural awareness through community activities and special events. If you are interested in learning more about us and ways to get involved, contribute and support DVL, contact us (760) 242-2487 or (760) 242-8877 or visit us online: www.dvlproject.com

“Honoring Multicultural Contributions to our American History.”

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Hispanic Heritage Month


• • •

Hispanic Heritage Quiz To test your knowledge of Hispanic culture and notable people, answer these questions. (%N_f`jk_\Ôijk?`jgXe`Zg\ijfekfn`ek_\Glc`kq\iGi`q\6 )%@ek_\(0-'j#k_`jj`e^\i\jkXYc`j_\[K_\@ejk`klk\]fik_\Jkl[pf]Efem`fc\eZ\%J_\dXp_Xm\Y\\eY\kk\ibefne]fi_\i XZk`m`jdk_Xe_\idlj`Z% *%Cl`jNXck\i8cmXi\qnfeXEfY\cGi`q\`ek_`jZfeZ\ekiXk`fe`e(0-/6 +%K_`jdlj`Z`Xe`jn\ccbefne]fi_`jdlj`ZXjn\ccXjk_\ÕXmfif]9\eA\iipj`Z\Zi\XdeXd\[X]k\i_`d% ,%K_`jZflekipjÕX^_Xji\[Xe[n_`k\jki`g\jXjn\ccXjXYcl\ki`Xe^c\Xe[fe\n_`k\jkXi6 -%D\o`ZfZ\c\YiXk\j`kj`e[\g\e[\eZ\fen_Xk[Xk\6 .%K_`jZflekipjÕX^_Xjk_\Jlef]DXp6 /%K_`jg\ijfenXjk_\Ôijk?`jgXe`Zkf_Xm\j\im\[`ek_\Le`k\[JkXk\j:fe^i\jj6 0%IfY\ikf:%>f`ql\kXj\im\[Xjk_\Z_X`idXef]k_`jY`cc`fe$[fccXiZfdgXep]fi(-p\XijXe[_\cg\[kfiX`j\`kjjkfZbgi`Z\j% ('%N_Xk`k\d`j`ek_\Y\Xbf]k_\\X^c\k_Xk`jfek_\D\o`ZXeÕX^6 ((%K_`jg\ijfe`jk_\Ôijk?`jgXe`ZgcXp\imfk\[`ekfYXj\YXccj?Xccf]=Xd\6 ()%N_fnXjk_\Ôijk?`jgXe`ZnfdXekfY\Zfd\XeXjkifeXlk6 (*%@en_Xkp\Xi[`[Gl\ikfI`ZXej^X`eL%J%Z`k`q\ej_`g6 (+%N_Xk`jk_\dfjkZfddfe?`jgXe`ZeXd\`ek_\Le`k\[JkXk\j6

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ispanic Heritage Month is an annual tradition in which people of Hispanic descent celebrate their culture and the many things that make their culture unique . Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico declared independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18. Therefore, this time of the year is particularly momentous for Hispanics. The month-long celebration of Hispanic culture is an attempt to recognize the cultures and history of American citizens with Hispanic ancestry. In 1968, with Lyndon Johnson as President, Congress passed a resolution to observe Hispanic heritage for a week-long event . It wasn't until President Ronald Reagan, in 1988, expanded the week-long commemoration to a month-long celebration that National Hispanic Heritage Month became law. Hispanic Heritage Month honors the impact Hispanic culture has had on various parts of American society, including the arts, business, politics, and science. The Hispanic population continues to grow in the United States, and this segment of the population has made and continues to make many notable contributions. As of 2010 Census results, there were more than 50 million Hispanics living in the United States, which is up from just more than 35 million reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000. Hispanics have remained the fastest-growing minority population in the country, and their numbers, and contributions, figure to continue growing.

G8><(0 The Dreamers, Visionaries and Leaders Legacy Scholarship Project is gearing up for a second successful year, according to Regina Weatherspoon- Bell, DVL Project Founder and Executive Director. “I am delighted and overwhelmed by the positive response the Legacy Scholarship Project received in its first year,” she said recently. The Project awarded over three thousand dollars in scholarships in its first year. Each year, the parent project, Dreamers, Visionaries and Leaders, (an Affiliate Fund of the High Desert Community Foundation) recognizes those who have contributed in some way to the livability of this region. “We’re now in the sixth year of honoring local adult citizens whose contributions have enriched this region, so we decided to expand the success of the DVL project. We added a scholarship component which recognizes outstanding high school graduating senior students in school districts, both public and private in the High Desert as well as college or university students enrolled in post-secondary, regionally accredited institutions.” DVL welcomes applications and awards scholarships regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or social or economic class, Ms. Bell added. Coordinated by Barbara Morrow Williams, the DVL Legacy Scholarship Project recognizes students who best meet the standards of academic achievement and community involvement set by four prior DVL Honorees: Dr. Gerard Brown—Medicine & Allied Health; Bishop Nathaniel Ruffin—Community Education for Unity & Diversity; Ms. Leona Griner—Community Arts & Culture; Ms. Jackie Wilson—Women’s Healthcare Advocacy for Cancer Awareness. “We recruited a highly diverse group of Selectors to review the applications. They were so impressed by the outstanding accomplishments of the applicants, they raised the money themselves to award six scholarships instead of the planned three scholarships,” Dr. Williams explained. “We anticipate opening the scholarship application period in mid-January 2015 and closing it late March or early April,” Dr. Williams continued. “Our school districts are fortunate to have outstanding teams of counselors and career educators, and once again, we look forward to working with them and with teachers, students and their parents for the DVL Legacy Scholarship opportunity.” DVL officials will prepare for the new scholarship cycle by rolling out updated websites and application materials to schools and the public in the next few weeks. For more DVL Project or Scholarship information visit us online: www.dvlproject.com or contact (760) 242-2487 office. Please direct Scholarship inquiries to: Barbara Morrow Williams, Barbara@dvlproject.com

The Dreamers, Visionaries & Leaders Project is an affiliate fund of the High Desert Community Foundation


DVL Legacy Scholarship Project Anticipates Second Successful Year


My Personal Recollections of the History and Heroes of the Modern Mariachi 9P=<C@O;@8Q

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grew up listening to the lively strains of Mariachi music and learning about its origins from my elders' fascinating oral histories. Most family gatherings, whether joyous or somber, were accompanied by music, much of it reflecting the influence of the Mariachis. I began my serious study of this unique Mexican musical form as an adult, however, especially after meeting some of the musicians who influenced this unique form of music blending the sounds of Aztec and European Spanish instruments. By the time the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the Aztec villages in the early 1500's, the people of “Mexica” had integrated music and dance into their culture. Mexica musicians had invented different types and sizes of reed instruments, wooden flutes, percussion instruments like bells, drums, marimbas, including as well conch shells, cymbals, and maracas for music making. The arrival of the Spanish brought string instruments like the viola, the violin, and guitars which the Aztec Indians would later adapt as four, five, and six stringed small guitars called “jaranas,” “vihuelas,” and “requintos.” Musicians later added brass horns to the music which supported dance groups and four to five piece musical groups which continued through the early part of the 1800's as part of Mexico's musical history. The Modern Mariachi began Mexico in the middle 1800's during the French Intervention. The French nobility enjoyed music with their family weddings and regularly requested the Mexican musicians to play at these celebrations. The French word for wedding is Mariage, pronounced “mar-e-agge”, and the Mexican musicians would respond to French

requests with “vamos al marriagge” (“let's go to the marriage”). Later, the expression would evolve to “vamos ha mariachar” (“let's go enjoy/ play the wedding”).

musicians!) loved the new sound, “and the rest is history!” laughed his son, Don Silvestre. A mariachi is not a real Mariachi unless it consists of at least five musicians, including at least one violin, a vihuela, a guitarron, a six string guitar and a trumpet. More recently, Mariachis added accordions or concertinas, and depending on the song, a flute, reflective of the early musical instruments of the Aztec Indians. Women were a part of the =<C@O;@8Q groups in the 1920's, disappeared, then reappeared in the Modern Mariachi.

In 1983 in Tucson, I met the son of Don Gaspar Vargas who is credited with founding the early Mariachi style in the 1890's in Cocula Jalisco, Mexico. Don Gaspar's son, Don Silvestre Vargas began as a 12 year old violinist in the early Mariachi groups in Mexico. He told me how the trumpet was added to the music. At first, the wedding musicians so popular with the French consisted only of stringed instruments-a harp, violin, guitar and a large bass guitar called guitar de golpe with strings beaten by the musician. (This guitar was the forerunner of today's guitarron which is now strummed by the musician.)

“One time [they] had a chambita (a “gig” in today's language) at a wedding reception in a town outside of Guadalajara,” Don Silvestre recalled his father's anecdote. “They were missing two musicians, but they were in a hurry. Running down an alley way,” he continued, “they heard two trumpets harmonizing on the second floor of a building.” Don Gaspar told the other musicians to wait while he ran upstairs to see if the trumpet players would accompany them to the wedding. But his fellow musicians were doubtful, arguing, “We've never had any instruments except strings, and trumpets won't sound good with them!” Don Gaspar persisted, recruiting the trumpet players to go with them. The wedding guests (and the

All Mariachi musicians must read, write and arrange their own music, but in the early days, Mariachis often played “by ear.” The Mariachis wear elaborately decorated costumes called the Charro Suit patterned after clothes worn by wealthy VIP's and reflective of the Charro State of Jalisco known for its rodeos and talented horsemen, as well as the birthplace of Mariachi. Mariachis exist throughout most western United States and foreign countries. Youth or Mariachi Juveniles exist in middle and high school programs plus some university programs, like Stanford's Mariachi de Cardenal. Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlan (whose members include descendants of the Founder Don Gaspar) holds the title of the “Best Mariachi in the World” performing for audiences worldwide, including the Vatican. I am pleased the musical tradition that began generations ago in Tecalitlan, Jalisco continues to entertain and inspire today.


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The Dreamers, Visionaries & Leaders Project established in 2009 is committed to honoring multicultural contributions to our American history.

In 2014, The Dreamers, Visionaries & Leaders Project announces the establishment of the DVL Felix Diaz Mariachi Music Festival. For years and quite often single-handedly, Mr. Diaz coordinated and produced an annual Mariachi Festival to benefit the American G.I. Forum with scholarship funding and cultural community enrichment. In recent years as he has matured, it has become a significant challenge for him to continue. We don't want to see this artistic and family oriented event die, therefore we are committing to pick it up and carry it forward in the name and honor of Mr. Felix Diaz. In September 2015 we will present the first of what is to become the Annual Felix Diaz Mariachi Music Festival in partnership with the City of Adelanto, Mavericks Stadium and Victorville Motors.


In 2013, our 5th year, we expanded our project to include recognition and celebration of our Hispanic brothers and sisters. We partnered with the High Desert Hispanic Chamber to honor six local citizens for their professional accomplishments and community service. We also honored Mr. Felix Diaz as the Lifetime Achievement honoree recognizing his lifelong service and commitment to improving his High Desert community by deed and lifestyle example.


Hispanic Heritage Month Events Calendar Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 Latino Heritage Month at the Autry National Center


Event will feature crafts, storytelling and hands on demonstrations for whole family. When: Saturday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles Cost: Free Information: 323-667-2000

Mexican Independence Day Celebration When: Sept. 17 and 18, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Where: El Pueblo Historical Monument; 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles Information: 213-485-8372

Mariachi USA Fiesta When: Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. Where: Fairplex, 1101 McKinley, Pomona Cost: $18.50- $75, Fair admission not included in ticket price. Information: 909-623-3111

Celebrate Latino culture with stories, songs and crafts. Event is for families with children of all ages. When: Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to Noon Where: Echo Park Library, 1410 W. Temple St., Los Angeles Cost: Free Information: 213-250-7809

Target Free Sundays @ MOLAA Family festival offers chance to learn about Latin American culture through workshops, live performances, food and gallery tours. When: Sunday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 alamitos Ave. Long Beach. Cost: Free Information: 562-437-1689

When: Sunday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: MacArthur Park, Wilshire Blvd. and 7th St., Los Angeles Information: 424-456-4743

Fernando Varela World-renowned tenor and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Fernando Varela is set to embark on a nationwide solo tour, with a stop at Victor Valley College Performing Arts Center. When: Sept. 21, 2:30 p.m. Where: 18422 Bear Valley Road in Victorville. Information: 615-672-7060 or go to info@liveonstage.biz.

Baja Splash Cultural Festival Latino Heritage Storytime

9th Annual Los Angeles Hispanic Heritage Festival

When: Sept. 24 and 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach Cost: Included with general admission. Free to Aquarium members Information: 562-591-3100

City of Victorville Fall Festival Spice of Life The festival features live entertainment including musicians and dancers, a food court, display and craft vendors, and informational booths for service organizations, schools and colleges and other non-profit groups. There are activities just for the kids, including bounce houses, a climbing wall, pony rides, and a petting zoo. When: Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: Victorville Civic Center, 14343 Civic Drive Cost: Free Information: 760-955-3306

Small Business Assistance Day

23rd Anniversary HD Hispanic Chamber Annual Awards Banquet

When: Thursday, September 25, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Where: Apple Valley Conference Center Cost: FREE Information: Contact High Desert Chamber of Commerce office for details 760-241-6661

When: Saturday, October 11, 5:30 - 10:30 p.m. Where: Green Tree Inn, Victorville Cost: $35.00 pre-sale Information: High Desert Chamber of Commerce Office for details (760) 241-6661

¡Viva el Tequila! Sample 40 varieties of tequila along with light hors d’oeurves and entertainment by Mariachi Fina Estampa and Juilian Picasso. When: Friday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. Where: Museum of Latin American art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach Cost: $35- $60 Information: RSVP to 562-437-1689




Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 - October 15

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Profile for High Desert Media Group

Hispanic month 2014  

Hispanic month 2014