Oakland Outreach!

July has been a busy month for outreach and community building; back and forth between San Francisco and Oakland, the Bay Area and the Anza Trail unite! Part of our internship as interpretation interns involves going out to different parts of the community to share the historical trail story and relay it to the public.

The Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, in the Fruitvale District of the City of Oakland, is a six-acre park and historic house that was the first European settlement after the establishment of the San Jose Mission; therefore, many consider it the birthplace of Oakland. You may be asking, “What does the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail have to with this center?” Well, I’m glad you asked! The Peralta house was built by one of the original colonists of California, Luís María Peralta (1759-1851). And guess how this ranchero made his way to the land of Oakland? Any guesses?! The Anza Expedition! The Peralta family was part of the group of settlers that came on the journey to settle Alta California.  Luís María was only seventeen years old at the time, and arrived with his mother, father, and three siblings. Nowadays, the Peralta Hacienda has turned into a regional center for the community of Oakland, where local families and youth can participate in art, educational, and historical events.

During the summer, the Peralta Hacienda offers a free summer camp for the community. My coworker and I were offered the opportunity to table and outreach during the camp. We’ve gone a couple times to the site to share our trail with the kids. Our interp props includes a fake horse saddle and vintage clothing that are a hit with the kids! After mentioning the trail, we dress them up with the gear, including bandanas, cowboy hats, shirts, and cueros, and let them get up on the horse. Tiny dressed up little kids are the cutest thing! We spend a couple hours a day doing that, and being in solidarity with these young community members of color.

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