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May 3 to May 5 Events Explore Mexican and Mexican-American History in Oregon

An art exhibition, lectures and Cinco de Mayo celebration will take place in Portland

Mexico to Oregon

(PORTLAND, OR) - “From Mexico to Oregon: History, Culture and Identity,” a series of events presented by the University of Oregon’s Latin American Studies Program, will take place May 3 to May 5 at the White Stag Block in Portland.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, where the Mexican army defeated the French occupying forces on May 5, 1862.

“In the last several decades, Cinco de Mayo has taken on new meaning, especially in the United States, where it is a symbol of Mexican and Mexican-American identity and pride,” said Carlos Aguirre, professor of history and director of the Latin American Studies Program at the UO.

The “From Mexico to Oregon” series will showcase Mexican and Mexican-American history and culture, while celebrating the presence and contribution of the Latino populations in Oregon. The events include the opening of a photography exhibit, a multimedia presentation, a panel discussion, and a Cinco de Mayo celebration with lunch buffet and music.

These events will take place at the University of Oregon in Portland White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St. They are all free and open to the public.


“David Maawad: Shining Rock/Resplandor de Roca”

A Photographic exhibit

Opening reception

Thursday May 3, 6 p.m.

This photographic exhibit by David Maawad (Oaxaca, Mexico 1952), one of the foremost contemporary Mexican social photographers, documents the social, cultural and environmental impact of mining in Mexico during the course of more than 30 years. His black and white photographs capture the human dimensions of this economic activity with astonishing beauty, showing the resilience and strength of Mexican mine workers, but also the difficult conditions under which they perform their labor.

The evening will open with remarks by Pedro García-Caro, assistant professor of Spanish and curator of the exhibit. Reception to follow.

“Mexicans, Latin@s, Oregonians: Reconstructing their History in the Digital Age”

Friday, May 4, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

UO faculty and students will offer a series of multimedia presentations about the history and culture of Oaxaca, the PCUN farmworkers’ union, and the presence and contribution of Latino populations in Oregon.

Presenters are Gabriela Martinez, associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communication and Stephanie Wood, Daisy Gonzalez, and Diana Salazar, all with the Wired Humanities Projects (WHP) of the UO Libraries. WHP is collaborating with Special Collections, which has recently received some of the PCUN archives.

“Cinco de Mayo: History, Memory, and Nationalism in Mexico and the United States”

Saturday, May 5, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Two specialists in Mexican and Mexican-American culture discuss the place of history, memory and culture in the forging of Mexican nationalism. Presenters are Claudia Holguín and Pedro García-Caro, both assistant professors of Spanish.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Saturday, May 5, 12:30-3 p.m.

Mexican lunch buffet and live music.

This series is organized by the UO's Latin American Studies Program and is co-sponsored by Academic Affairs in Portland; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Office of International Affairs; the Americas in a Globalized World Initiative; the Global Oregon Initiative; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art; the Oregon Humanities Center Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; the Environmental Studies Program; the Center for Latino/a & Latin American Studies; the Department of Art History; the Department of English; the Department of Ethnic Studies; the Department of Romance Languages; and the Department of Comparative Literature.

Contacts: Heidi Hiaasen, University of Oregon in Portland, 503-412-3714,; Carlos Aguirre, director of UO Latin American Studies Program, 541-346-5905,

Source: University of Oregon News

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