The interview with Gerardo Herrera Garcia explores the topic of baseball and education when he moved from CulÃacan, Sinaloa, Mexico to Medford, Oregon. Gerardo accredits his accomplishment to learning English in eight months to the fact that he joined the baseball team at North Medford High School, and he was forced to learn at a quick rate. He now resides in Eugene, Oregon and has a baseball scholarship to Lane Community College.
Jill Torres is the subject of this Latino Roots project. She is a kindergarten teacher, MEChA leader, Spanish radio show host, and activist in Eugene's Latino community. Her life has been a question of identity, as her mother is a mix of white European ancestry while her father has a mixed Croatian and Mexican background. In high school, her teacher Armando Morales inspired her to join MEChA and be proud of her Chicana identity. Since then, a dialogue has opened between her and her father, allowing her to dig deeper into her family's history and learn more about what it means to be Latino.
Blanca's story begins with her life in regards to her mother and the importance of family. She moves a few times and talks of the disconnect from her family and community. Blanca discussed the advantage of English, providing a much smoother path for her to become Valedictorian and make her way to college. We discuss the cultural implications of identifying as Latino, and how this has affected her growing up as an intelligent student, a member of her community, and her identity as it is intertwined with her mother.