Hispanic Heritage Month 2017 begins today, September 15th! To celebrate, we are featuring a unique source of information about the Mexican-American community in the Quad-Cities area: materials from the Iowa Stories 2000 collection (Acc# 2005-02).
A little more than ten years ago, during 2006 and 2007, students from the intermediate schools in the Davenport Community School District conducted interviews with twenty local individuals of Mexican descent. These videorecordings have been transferred to DVDs (thanks to the Putnam Museum) and are now available for viewing at the RSSC Center. We are currently working to describe the contents of each interview and hope to provide online access to the recordings themselves in the near future.
Also in the Iowa Stories 2000 collection are items from the display boards the students created about each of their interview subjects. These are just a few examples:
Al Sierra grew up in the Mexican-American neighborhood of Cook’s Point in Davenport.
From Rita (Quijas) Navarro we learn of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church’s importance to the Mexican-American community in Davenport.
St. Mary’s Church in Davenport was influential in the life of Maggie Ortega, a more recent immigrant from Mexico.
Henry Vargas, born in Cook’s Point, was the first president of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Iowa and worked for the equal treatment of Hispanic-Americans as a member of the St. Ambrose University-based Catholic Interracial Council and the Davenport Human Relations Commission.
The Iowa Stories 2000 collection also includes interviews with Irish Americans, German Americans and African Americans in the area.
Explore your own ethnic heritage with these and the many other resources available for family local history research at the RSSC Center of the Davenport Public Library!