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The Sons of Guadalupe

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  • Pages: 10
  • Word count: 2297
  • Category: Vietnam

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This chapter talks about the history of Guadalupe. Especially about some of the most important events in this little town. For example some conquistadores who ate a poisoned bear and died. But, this chapter does not only talk about Mexican or Latino cultures it also has some stories about Chinese and Japanese people.

El Rincon Del Mundo- Guadalupe is call “El Rincon del Mundo” because of its history and also because is located the in the northwestern corner of the Santa Barbara county. It is a little town that depends mainly on agriculture for its economy. This town is a mix of a lot of different people with different ethnic backgrounds but mainly Latinos. It is say that Guadalupe got its name from a Mexican catholic symbol “la virgin de Guadalupe” and it’s also a very important symbol for the people.

The Skinny Bear- The natives poisoned a bear with lethal poison in darts and the bear walked away with carrying dead with him, later some conquistadores found the bear and ate the poison meat and they all died from poisoning. The young people at Guadalupe in the 60’s, was the first generation to truly have an identity of its own. There was a group called “thee Group B”, which included many of the sons of Guadalupe, organized gatherings and parties, unaware of the natural beauty of the place, and the other recreational activities that could be made.

The Dune that Never Moves- Guadalupe can be a really strange town for any outsider who does not know a little something about it, like for example there are no traffic lights. Something else peculiar about Guadalupe is the waste that can be seen from many parts of the city, the waste that was left after the film of “The Ten Commandments was filmed in the southern dune and a bulldozer buried the set.

Cantinflas was Here- In Guadalupe you can see the ties that this town stills have with Mexico, for example The Royal Theater which showed some Spanish speaking movies and some culture from Mexico and also some of the greatest celebrities from that time like Cantinflas, Julio Aleman, and Tin Tan who performed in this famous theater

The hanging Tree- Guadalupe has a lot of history but some of the most disturbing happened at Le Roy Park where today people go and play and even it is where the local basketball team plays. But behind all this beauty a single tree has a terrible story a huge oak tree which is known as the hanging tree this is where the lynching laborers during the 1890’s took place.

Chapter 2: “Juan King’s Falafel”

Guadalupe is a city where nations meet. People from all over the world come to Guadalupe where you can appreciate and try a lot of different cultures for example two very famous restaurants “La simpatia” and “Juan’s King falafel ” this is where people appreciate their own culture and the other try and enjoy food from two complete different cultures. But cultures are also appreciated in sports.

The United Nations- One of the most peculiar things about Guadalupe would be its diversity of cultures now a day’s its most common its Latino but there were times when the Japanese were the most common people all this before they were taken by force to internment camps and all they had was taken from them.

No Japs Allowed- During World War II Japanese were sent to internment camps all over the United States and Guadalupe was not and exception. The Japanese were the biggest culture in Guadalupe but after they force them to the camps and took all that belonged to them that was over. A big number of Japanese people were not seen after WWII was over.

On Sundays after Mass- every single Sunday, Latinos gathered on parks to play soccer and have carne asada something that is very traditional in Mexican families my family could be an example of that. These parks were built with the money taken from the Japanese which speaking of now a day’s use these complexes too and this is where the two cultures met.

The Cardena Rising Sun Club- One of the cultures that suffered a lot of discrimination were the Filipinos they were discriminated just because of their traditions but, groups and business like Cardena Rising Sun Club, which organized gatherings and meetings to serve their purpose. Different groups of Filipinos started to form after them and this showed them that they did not have to be afraid of their culture.

Authentic Spanish Food- But, Japanese and Filipinos were not the only cultures that were discriminated Mexicans also were discriminated impressing how much discrimination in such a little town where there is a lot of diversity. Mexicans were afraid of being discriminated and example would be the restaurant “La simpatia” which for years said it served authentic Spanish food and all the time it was Mexican food like pozole but they did not admit it to avoid being discriminated.

Bud Wong’s Exotic Cuisine- Juan King’s Falafel, was built in place of bud Wong’s Exotic Cuisine. Contrary to its name, it doesn’t serve Mediterranean foods; it serves hamburgers, fries, and shakes. Bud Wong’s Exotic Cuisine, was a Chinese restaurant, which served authentic Chinese food, located right in front of “La Simpatia”.

Chapter 3: “Soldiers without Guns”

Mexicans in Guadalupe came because of the bracer programs during WWII.
they were the ones keeping the agriculture going in the United States during these times. But all these came with a price and a big one. The fight started to enter the US it was a dangerous journey then they had to be selected between thousands and last they had to survive here with almost no pay and little to eat it was a fight at home they were soldiers without guns.

The Mexicans are Coming- after WWII, the population of Mexicans in Guadalupe increased dramatically. Due to increased migration of Mexicans to the U.S. and the internment of the Japanese. The Mexican population became the majority in Guadalupe.

Soldados Dezembrados, la Leyenda de Arturo Ortiz- Arturo Ortiz, who came the United States through the bracero program- it allowed Mexicans to come to the United States and work for a determined amount of time, 4 times. He knows what is like to work in hot conditions from dusk to dawn, fighting a home war and showing what he is capable of managing to safely return home.

Stealing from the Poor- There was a dramatic increase in Mexican population, not only in Guadalupe also the border cities of Mexico which lead to an increase in the economy and also in the Mexican business. Mexicans from other states who wanted to cross the border by the bracero program found home in the states of Mexico close to the United States.

Chapter 4: We Don’t Need no Stinking’ Forks

Latinos were tagged with a stereotype that they were people with no education who did not even know how to use a fork. But the records of the government in the education of Guadalupe show the opposite. How else can a race be discriminated?

Una Caballeriza- One good example of discrimination could be in Lemon Grove, Mexican children were segregated due to poor performance. Many groups were formed and protested against the discriminating government. The parents of the children sued the schools and won.

We Want Mexican Teachers and the Guadalupe- An organization called “El Committee”, called for Mexican teachers in the Guadalupe Schools. Nine teachers joined the movement but were charged for disturbing peace but later they removed those charges.

No Forks Allowed- Another big act of discrimination was that schools did not allowed forks in schools first of all because they tough Mexicans were not capable of using them because they only ate with tortillas, and secondly because they said the kids would only use them to hurt each other.

The Mean and Pugnacious Swinburne- Teachers were of scary appearance to scare the children one of the meanest teachers in the schools was known as Mr. Swinburne. Also another teacher who was disfigured by a car accident was really feared by the children.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment- Mr. Arnoldi, the meanest teacher he picked on kids and made then fight just to have fun himself. He kept going this for a long time, later instead of being punished he was rewarded he became a principal in another school where he kept doing the same things.

Developmental Dyslexia- Dyslexia a mental disorder was said to be the reason Mexican-American kids did so poorly in school. Harold Danenhower said they inherited this problem from their parents therefore these kids could not participate in activities like reading or writing. But after Superintendent McKenzie resigned and it was decided to clean the school staff which proved it was all just to discriminate the Mexican kids.

Chapter 5: The Sons of Guadalupe:

The sons of Guadalupe, the name given to the veterans of the Vietnam war that came from Guadalupe. Some just wanted to get out of the fields and since some could not afford college they had to join, some were drafted and some just volunteered but in total there were 251 soldiers from just that small town known as Guadalupe. Normal people with the same story but a whole different background that they just saw each other now they had to fight and protect each other.

From Varela to Canez- Guadalupe was present in the Vietnam War from beginning to end. First with Varela in 1964, to finish with Canez in 1975. Canez was involved in the evacuation of Saigon, in 1975 when the communist forces defeated the nationalist.

Barely, One-hundred Pounds- Guadalupe sent 251 soldiers to the Vietnam War. Some of these men did it just to fight for a country that supposedly gave then so much, some just to avoid legal problems and some were drafted against their will. But, How was this war? Men like Henry Ruiz, who weighed 100 pounds had to carry gear that was half as heavy as them.

Number 7- Before Vietnam, some of the sons of Guadalupe were involved in gang activity. For example, Henry Ruiz, joined a gang with no name, instead they identified themselves by numbers. Henry was tattooed number 7. Henry Ruiz and Victor Segovia joined a gang, which “protected” the barrio from los tejanos of Santa Maria. After Vietnam, those involved in gangs grew out of it, and went on to have families.

El Gordito- The soldiers from Guadalupe did not share their background or their culture but they shared a lot more. Some of these men had the same dream, some of them wanted to get out of the fields. They went to the same schools they knew each other from a long time. Henry Ruiz a soldier from Guadalupe had a sergeant who was short and fat that was from Santa Maria which now is a rival of Guadalupe.

At 4 a.m. – The men that came from Guadalupe no matter where they came from they were use to hard work, all the jobs like show shine, helping with family business and working in the fields. An example of hard work is Rudy Razo who would wake up at 4 a.m. jus to start helping his family with the restaurant.

Talentless Blondes- The elite of Guadalupe, mostly formed by white people were the ones suppose to be in charge of Guadalupe but they left,
some just did not want the duty and the rest just marched in front of the schools holding a banner.

Erroneous Induction- Richard Segovia was drafted illegally. He was married and had a kid; he was the main source of income at home. He tried to solve this, but his appeal was rejected, he had to go to Vietnam. Soldiers returning home had to face the shame of this really unpopular war.

The Short Timer- Phillip Hernandez was killed in action in 1969. His death hit Guadalupe hard, as he was admired by the people in town. He was supposed to do a 1 year duty. 4 days before his year was over he was given an operation and he had the choice to reject it because he did not match the necessary requirements but he decided to go because he believed it was his duty. He has killed in that operation.

Charlie Owned the Night- Guerrilla warfare was the method of attacking by the opposing forces. The night was the worst of all moments, all this stress carried onto the soldiers after the war, many having nightmares, and suffering from anxiety.

The Black Cloud- Some man were really traumatize that even their families were affected some just suffered from breakdowns and started to break things in the house yelling his wife called this as “The Black Cloud”. Henry Alfaro founded the Chamber of Vietnam Veterans to help others talk about their traumas. Some of these men weren’t even capable of talking their traumas until this book.

Nine Per Day- Soldiers carried cans of food in case they got hungry during operations. These cans were light, so it was easy to transport them. Santos Rosas had a rule to eat 9 per day. Phillip Hernandez would go and look for peppers in the jungle to spice up the food and introduced his comrades to Mexican cuisine. Santos Rosas Conserves these cans in order to control his memories. He is one of the few who can talk about his experiences easily.

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