Sharing Latino Homesteaders Legacies

There are places that change you and that you will keep a piece of them close to your heart; Homestead is one of those places.  My last week here has been unexplainable. I’ve been catching up with different things before leaving and today I presented my project’s results with the staff at the park.

My main task was to provide data to build up biographies of Latino descent homesteader families in the Southwestern states. One of the families that I found were the Lopez from Arizona and following their steps I had the opportunity to talk to one of their descendants, Jaqueline Lopez Ingraham.

Jacqueline is Mercedes and Lugarda Lopez’ great-granddaughter. They homesteaded near Cochise County in Arizona, specifically in Cascabel.  In her book “We were born Lopez”, Jacqueline says that her Nana remembered when they were living at Cascabel, Indians used to come to their house and Lugarda would make burritos and sweet breads that they would pack and take with them.

I have also found stories on Latinas and how they had to deal with the challenges of being a woman homesteader. Gregoria Barcelo was 35 years old when she homesteaded, she was single and she had to deal with working her land and taking care of her aged mother.

Now that I have found and shared these stories, Homestead National Monument of America will be able to better tell our Nation’s epic homestead story, a story that is inclusive of all Americans!

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