Latinos in Oceanside: A photo history project

Latinos in Oceanside: A photo history project
An Oceanside resident holds a family photo that will be part of the Saturday program. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Latinos in Oceanside: A Photo History Project will share dozens of historical photos and several firsthand accounts of life for Latino families from the 1930s to 1950s this Saturday.

The project is overseen by Oceanside Public Library and primarily funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

In an effort to capture local Latino history, library staff gathered photos, background stories and interview accounts of life in Oceanside last spring for the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History project.

Collected Latino history represents all city neighborhoods, and answers the questions about family memories, traditions, challenges faced and greatest achievements.

“Our goal is to foster a sense of cultural belonging and preserve the heritage of Oceanside,” Monica Chapa Domercq, principal librarian, said.

Photos and family stories which were part of the earlier project will be combined with photos and documentation archived by the Oceanside Historical Society for the presentation on Saturday.

Additionally, four families who were interviewed during the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History project are invited to speak about their experiences growing up in Oceanside.

“We’re hoping people will enjoy the imagery,” Kristi Hawthorne, historical society president, said. “The time frame most people will be sharing is largely that of their parents and grandparents. The strength of family really shines through.”

Following families’ firsthand accounts Hawthorne will show dozens of photos and speak on historical context. Audience members are invited to add their insights.

Domercq said the family stories and familiar photo locations make the presentation universally relatable, as well as offer a unique insight into the Latino point of view.

Both Hawthorne and Domercq said the photos truly speak for themselves.

“It’s a remarkable collection,” Domercq said.

The collection of photos and accounts will be kept by the library and historical society for future public access.

The previous Latino Americans: 500 Years of History project culminated with a series of programs in March and May, some of which shared photos that will be shown Saturday.

A screening of the “Latino Americans” documentary film series, Q & A sessions, and a talk by renowned Oceanside author Victor Villasenor were also part of earlier programs.

Prior to that the library and historical society partnered in a joint project to gather photos and accounts from Eastside neighborhood residents, some of which will also be included.

Latinos in Oceanside: A Photo History Project will be held at the Civic Center Library community room at 330 North Coast Highway at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15.

The event is free.

1 Comment
  1. Nadine Scott 7 months ago

    This is a great project- thank you Monica and staff for this excellent programming.

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