-Garilaso de la Vega paints the image
of a brave fight between a Tula Indian
and four Spaniards one of whom is on
-The Tula Indian despite receiving
sever wounds during the battle with
the first three Spaniards he manages
to inflict as serious a damage as he
-At the end of the struggle the
Spaniard who defeats the Tulan Indian,
named Gonzalo Silvestre, retells the
battle to his superior whom along with
others marvels at this lone Indians
tenacity and valor.
-Marti is Cuba’s most beloved poets and revolutionary leader. Though he lived in the USA for most of his life he
strongly opposed the annexation of Cuba to the USA.
-His most famous work is Simple Verses a book of poems which most people know today
to the rhythm of Guantanamera.
-Marti was very proud of the his Cuban Heritage and a strong advocate in defense of helping to view Cubans,
not as helpless refugees, but strong and highly educated men and women who are capable of overcoming
the many transgressions of life.
-Memoirs of Bernardo Vega tell of the
tradition and customs of the cigar
makers of the early 1900’s.
-These men who hailed from different
Latin American countries all shared a
common interest in the political
awareness of the working class.
-One common tradition was that of
having a reader in every tobacco
company who would read to all the
workers present to stimulate and feed
the workers mind with current events
as well as political and other literary
-Josephina Niggli author of Mexican Village tells the tale of a small village in preparation of an upcoming
-In the story the bride begs her groom to buy her a pair of shoes, something uncommon in the very humble
village where they reside.
-He then finds himself in the dilemma of fulfilling his future wife’s desire or thinking of their future and buying
something which, in their small town, means prosperity: a goat.
Julia de Burgos
-One of Puerto Rico’s most beloved poets, she wrote of her love and identification with her country as well as quest for
her self and authenticity as a woman.
-Burgos poems often reflect the conflict immigrants feel upon moving to a new place: the yearn for the old and
familiar, the hate for new, unknown and at times unwelcoming, and the fear of loosing complete ties
with either one, starting over and not knowing where they belong anymore.
-Burgos was known for her mystery life style, creative , brave and original works, and was a stepping guide to future
writers as to how to tell their tales and live their lives.
-Born in Norther New Mexico, she hailed from a wealthy mexican family, who were among the original pioneers
of to migrate.
-She believed in the importance of preserving Mexican Culture espicially in a time where, upon their moves,
many 2nd generation Mexicans were not showing much interest in preserving their cultural history.
God in Harlem
-Pedro Juan Soto tells the story of Nena a Puerto Rican woman who, like most migrants of the early 1940’s, struggles to
survive a harsh life of poverty, she and find a meaning to her life.
-She finds herself pregnant by her abusive boyfriend, who tricks her into thinking he is willing to settle down with her
and their baby.
-While trying to overcome his disappearance and betrayal, Nena, she manages to see a light at the end of the dark
tunnel that is her life and finds herself reborn in Christianity.
-The Hammon and the Beans is Americo Paredes way of informing his readers of the rift that exists in the border-land
towns near Fort Jones, Texas.
-The tale of a man recalling from his childhood a young poor Mexican girl who would proudly climb a fence and recite
what she over heard the soldiers in the mess hall say, but because she did not speak their language she would simply
say: “Give me the Hammon and the Beans”.
The tale goes on to speak of how the death of the young girl impacted the narrator in ways he was not able to fully
comprehend himself as well as the huge dividend that existed in the small town he lived in between the Mexicans of
humble bearings and the soldiers living within Fort JOnes.
I Am Joaquin
-A poem by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales
which tells of the pride many Mexicans
feel for their mestizo race.
-I Am Joaquin is known as a map for
the historic continuity Mexican history.
-It predates before the time of Spanish
conquest to the present day. By using
the term “I” Gonzales is able to allow
all readers to identify with him in his
entry to political, social and ethnic
-Down These Mean Streets by Piri
Thomas tells of the authors life
growing up during a time where racial
tensions where at its peak.
-Thomas, begins with recalling his
move from, his common streets of el
Barrio, in NYC, to the suburbs of Long
Island, where he encounters for the
first time racial discrimination at its
fullest by his fellow classmates.
-Before his move, his friend told him
that the whites in L.I. were worse then
those he was used to in his
neighborhood, building inside Thomas
a dilemma as to whether what his
friend said was true or if his new found
friends would prove to be an
Victor Hernandez Cruz
-Hernandez Cruz greatest influence in his writing is due in part to his migrations from
Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, to Spanish Harlem.
-His poems and other works are a fusion of both language and culture and broad views of world events then
other writers of his time.
-He is known for using rhythm in his poems and his works have been referred to as “Puerto Rican Soul Music.
Must be the of the Season
-Alurista uses this poem to compare
the loss of Mexican culture to that of
the myth La Llorona who murdered
her children to be with her lover.
-The comparison is that just as La
Llorona sacrificed her children to be
with a man, Mexicans sacrificed their
culture, their heritage, when they
chose to migrate to a country and
adopt foreign customs to traditional
-Author of Bless Me, Ultima, tells the
tale of young Antonio, a young
Mexican boy who must decide where
his fate will lye.
-Antonio’s father side of the family are
wild and free spirited and like his elder
brothers his father wishes for him to
be the same, but his mother like her
family are quite and Christian and she
wants him to follow in that path, so
Antonio must decide on the two.
-Antonio forms a bond with his
grandmother, Ultima, who comes to
live with them when he is seven years
old. She is a curandera, a healer of the
spirits. Not content with either the
Christian Faith nor the unruliness
which his brothers live by, Antonio
finds comfort and connection with
Nature like his grandmother, Ultima.
Revolt of the Cockroach
-Oscar Zeta Acosta’s autobiographical
work is the authors recount of the take
over of St. Basil Roman Catholic
Church in California by Chicano
-The recount takes place between
Christmas and New years and while
inside of the church a mass is being
held to commemorate such an
important event, Mexican devout are
not allowed inside while the white
upper class is holding mass.
-The people decide to barge into the
church but are unaware of the fact
that inside the LAPD has disguised
themselves among the clergy in the
hopes to arrest any chicano they can
-Mohr is both a writer and a painter. He books are mainly about the coming of age of young
adolescent females in NYC, predominantly in Latin communities, during a time when the Puerto Rican
was experiencing a change from one generation to another.
-The females in her books usually experience strong metamorphose, spiritually, physically, emotionally,
Puerto Rican Obituary
-A poem by Pedro Pietri, though he
only mentions the names of 5 Puerto
Rican immigrants their tale of hard
work, silent submission, failed dreams
and longing is that of all immigrants.
-Puerto Rican Obituary reminds Puerto
Ricans to seek the beauty of their
culture and to embrace it, never to
turn their backs on their roots.
-Short Eyes by Miguel Pinero is the
story of a white inmate imprisoned
with Latinos, Blacks and other
-Short Eyes is a jail term used for
people who are convicted for raping
-The inmate, Clark, once his fellow
inmates find out of his conviction they
begin to make life in prison even more
difficult for him, without really
knowing if he was guilty or not.
-Brilliant playwright who is known commonly for her humor and exaggeration of common
stereotypes, primarily those of Latina women.
-The search for an identity of US Latina women, the fragile approach towards absorption of a new culture and
the years of repression women have endured are common themes she touches in her works.
-By Luis Valez, Zoot Suit, tell the story of a group of Mexican Pachuco friends who get caught up
in a fight at a dance and because of their, Pachuco, appearance are wrongly accused of a murder they did not commit.
-Valdez opens the minds of his audience by acquitting the young men at the end and having several different endings,
some good and happy others not so, but the purpose of it was to open the minds of all his audiiences to the fact
that just because you are a Mexican or Latino or any other nationality for that matter it does not mean that the labels
society or the media places on a person must be true.
-Tato Laviera’s poem My Graduation
Speech is an encouragement for all
Latin speaking immigrants to be proud
of their roots.
-In it Laviera shines light on the
thoughts of many Latin’s who upon
arriving in US of A and are forced to
now speak two languages, the
difficulties that they have managing
-Towards the end Laviera draws the
conclusion that he will speak both
languages as he pleases and it is up to
others to understand his way of
A la Mujer Borrinquena
-BORRINQUENA comes from the native
name given to Puerto Rico,
Borrinquen, Borriquena is a native
name given to a woman from that
-Written by Sandra Maria Estevez, this
poem speaks of the pride of Puerto
-In the poem, Estevez, speaks of the
pride and connection a woman from
Puerto Rico feels with her homeland,
despite being born in America.
-She calls herself the “mother of a new
age of warriors”, referring to others,
whom like herself were not born on
For Ana Veldford
-Written by Cuban writer, Lourdes
Casal, this poem speaks of the how a
person can feel like they belong one
place and at the same time not.
-Lourdes Casal, a cuban exile, writes
here that when she is not in NYC she
feels homesick and yearns for the
smells of the familiar streets she
knows, yet when she is here, she is
constantly reminded that NYC is not
her country of origin, but a place
where she immigrated to in the latter
part of her life.
-She comments that in NY she is too
Cuban to be considered a New Yorker
and when in Cuba she is too much of a
New Yorker to be a Cuban, and thus
describes the feeling of not belonging
that all immigrants feel when they
leave their homelands and then return
to it once again.
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez
-Richard Rodriguez, one of Mexico’s, most accomplished essayist, wrote a collection of autobiographical essays
where he talks about many important political and social issues that took place during his formation.
-In Hunger of Memory, one of the things which Rodriguez discusses that stand out the most, was of how he felt robbed
of his native language because, during his childhood, being educated in an Irish Catholic School, he was forced to speak
English, and to Nuns, educators, of his school asked his parents to speak to him only English because this will help to
prepare him to form a more integrated part of society.
-His parents conceeded and since then he feels that he was robbed of his ethnic roots because they choose to, instead
of teaching him about his native culture, raise him with what others believed to be best.
-Written by Edward Rivera, Family Installments, can be read as the tales most immigrant children experience
when forced to move at a tender age to a place where they know no one, where they’re not welcomed by some and
do not even speak the language.
-Santos, the main character, arrived from Puerto Rico and now
attends a Catholic middle school, where he has many -Most memorable moment is when Santos, upon
confrontations with his teachers for being shy and not have being given and excruciatingly difficult exam by
complete domination over the English Language. He later his professor Bro. Leary, he and his friend decide
comes to terms that and education and literature are his best to take matters into their own hand and bombard
escapes from the pressure he receives from professors, older his prof. with water balloons from the rooftop.
siblings and society in general
A Long Line of Vendidas
-By Cherrie Moraga, relates the tale of how at a young age a young Latina identified herself with her Chicano roots.
-She remembers how she was raised to continue the traditions of most Spanish cultures, where the woman is to be in
the kitchen and tend to the needs of the men in her house hold and how she dreaded this even from them.
-She recalls, when she was eight and went to visit her mother who had been hospitalized for some time, upon reaching
her side and embracing her, she says that the smell of her mom is a smell she associated with life and home and feeling
welcomed, a place where she was uplifted and sustained.
-Moths, a fiction story by Helena Maria
Viramontes is about a fourteen year old
chicano girl recalling the sense of
belonging when visiting her
-She remembers how, when in her home
she felt she could not measure up to her
older sisters, it was at her grandmothers
home, helping her do chores around the
house, that she felt any sense of comfort.
She remembers how as a child her
grandmother used old remedies to cure
her of her colds and other illnesses.
-Viramontes paints an very descriptive
story line, giving the reader a sense of
actually seeing and smelling all the
different things in the grandmother
-When her grandmother dies, the narator
recalls how she carefully bathed her
grandmother and prepared her for her
Borderlands/ La Frontera:
The new Mestiza
-Gloria Anzaldua is known for her
literary mestizaje, she mixes her poetic
writing with historical facts, any
-How to Tame a Wild Tongue she
discusses the various interpretations
of Spanish she heard and uses growing
up and throughout adult hood. Though
she focuses on her Mexican roots and
uses just the Spanish language she
discusses how this one language is
divided or divides the people who use
it despite all belonging to one
-in the end she concludes that despite
the various variations of Spanish that
are spoken, Mexicans are proud race
who know who they are and where
they come from and their place in the
formation of this country.
-Sandra Cisneros is known for re-
mythizing classic folk tales and adding a
twist in which the women of the folks,
where at first painted as weak women
with no will are now remade to be strong
-Women of Hollering Creek, one of the
stories of Cleofilas who dreams of a
perfect love like the soap operas she saw
on t.v., unfortunetly when she thinks she
has found the man of her dreams, he
winds up abusing her and she lives a
dreadful life, because though she knows
she has the support of her father she is
ashamed of what people will say if she
were to return to her family home with a
failed marriage and children.
-She goes to a hospital for her prenatal
checkups and after viewing how bruised
she is, she meets two women who help
her to find the strength and courage to
escape her abusive husband and return
home to her family.
Dreaming in Cuban
-Written by Cristina Garcia Dreaming in Cuban is an original tale of three generation of Cuban women
and the different lives that they have taken after the Cuban Revolution.
-This particular excerpt focus is primarily on the second and third generation of the del Pino family, Pilar, and her
-Lourdes strongly opposes the revolution and its leader, Fidel, and moves her daughter to NY, where she monitors her
every move and invades her privacy. Lourdes manages to open a successful bakery in NY where she likes to unite
Cuban’s whom like herself despised what their country has become and its new leader. Pilar who claims to have
memories of her grandmother and life in Cuba years for those times and wishes for nothing more then to return home,
Judith Ortiz Cofer
-Unlike most Puerto Rican writers who’s stories are primarily based in the Spanish barrios of NYC, Judith O. Cofer
tell her story from her home town in Patterson New Jersey.
American History is about a young girls first love and first bitter taste of racial discrimination. The protagonist, a shy
Puerto Rican girl, falls in love with a fellow classmate from the south.
-on the day of President Kennedy’s death she made arrangements to go to his house to study despite the fact that she
knew the whole country was in mournig, she was ecstatic, yet when she makes it to her new friends home, she is told
clearly by his mother that she is not welcomed into her home and does not want her to associate with her son.
The Fourteen Sisters
of Emilio Montez
-Oscar Hijuelos in this very descriptive
novel tells the story of Montez O’Brien
who was the youngest child of an Irish
photographer and Cuban mother and
had 14 older sisters.
-He describes all of his sisters as well
as their attributes, talents and wiles
and how each shaped him into the
man he later became.
Cuco Goes to a Party
-written by Mario Suarez, Cuco Goes to a
Party is about a young married man who
is tired of doing things the way his in-laws
feel is the best way to do things.
-One day after work he decides that
instead of going straight home after work
he will go with his friends for a drink to
celebrate the birthday of one of them.
-They have a great time while out
together. Cuco especially recalls how
much fun he had watching bull-fights in
Mexico and demonstrates to his friend his
good knowledge on the subject he really
-Unfortunately the next day while all of
his other friends are still happy because
of the great time they had the night
before, Cuco is no so happy because his
in-laws are using this opportunity to put
his wife against him and to bring him
down at any thing negative they find