Barrio Logan

Barrio Logan is a predominantly Mexican/Chicano, low income, working class community located south of Downtown San Diego, north of National City and west of the Interstate 5 freeway. It is home to the national treasure Chicano Park, which is the site of the largest collection of outdoor murals in the world. The people that make up the community of Barrio Logan have a long history of standing up and defending their culture and civil rights.

Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Love and Marriage, 1940s

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Love and Marriage, 1940s

by Maria E. Garcia 02.28.2015 Editor's Picks

Part II of the Lives of Girls

By Maria E. Garcia

Today’s article is a continuation of last week’s conversation with Amparo “Tuti” Zumaya, Consuelo Zumaya Lopez, Noralund Cook Zumaya, Rosa Zatarian Ramirez, Armida Piña, and Bertha Castro Zumaya. While hard economic times affected everyone, there were different societal expectations about what were considered appropriate activities for boys and girls during this time period. These women all provide rich details about the lives of girls who grew up during the war years.

Rosa Zatarian has her own memories about Neighborhood House and about Logan Heights. She and her sister would lay in bed on Friday night and listen to the Latest Hits program. This program came on at 9 p.m. every Friday and they couldn’t wait to listen to the music of the 1940s.

Rosa also remembered that when her family lived in El Paso and did not own a radio, a neighbor would place his radio in the window. Neighbors would then bring chairs and sit in the yard to listen to President Roosevelt’s fireside chat broadcasts. According to Rosa’s mother “Él nos quitó el hambre.” (He took our hunger away.) It seems that helping and supporting each other was a way of life all over our country.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Bits: Will East Village Chargers Stadium Bring Ethnic Cleansing to Barrio Logan?

Barrio Bits: Will East Village Chargers Stadium Bring Ethnic Cleansing to Barrio Logan?

by Brent E. Beltrán 02.26.2015 Desde la Logan

Plus, Barrio Loganites Seek Crosswalk, Barrio Art Crawl Returns, Barrio Seed Bank Opens, Chicano Park Day Fundraiser y Más!

By Brent E. Beltrán

With all of the talk around town about the Chargers and their demands for a new stadium something has been overlooked: Barrio Logan. If the city acquiesces to the demands of the Chargers (which they have done in the past) and gives them a brand new stadium in the East Village what happens to the community that sits just south of there?

The impact on Barrio Logan residents would be tremendous… in a bad way.

For the most part the residents of Barrio Logan are renters. A new stadium so close to a community of renters would raise property values up to the point where they could no longer rent in the community they love. Thus, forcing many longtime community members out and changing the socio-economic and cultural character of Barrio Logan.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Lives of Girls

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Lives of Girls

by Maria E. Garcia 02.21.2015 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

Families in Logan Heights faced grim financial hardship during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Childhood entertainment and opportunities were limited. Neighborhood House provided classes, programs and outings that are remembered sixty and even seventy years later by the many people that I have interviewed.

While hard economic times affected everyone, there were different societal expectations about what were considered appropriate activities for boys and girls during this time period. Boys participated in the popular sports programs at Neighborhood House. Team members played in other parts of the city and even other parts of the country. Boys were also given a much greater freedom to explore their environs singly or with other boys.

Girls were raised in a socially conservative environment that emphasized marriage and raising a family. Their activities were often restricted or required a chaperone.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Three Women Who Worked at Neighborhood House and Became Part of the Community

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Three Women Who Worked at Neighborhood House and Became Part of the Community

by Maria E. Garcia 02.14.2015 Activism

Miss Gertrude Peifer, Mrs. Wilfreda Brackett and Miss Julie McClure

By Maria E Garcia

Last week I wrote about three women who shaped the direction of Neighborhood House from the 1920’s to World War II. The leadership of Mary Snyder, Rebecca Halley and Anita Jones reflected the influence of the newly recognized profession of social work and the progressive era’s spirit of social reform.

There are three more women during the same time period and into the early 1950’s who deserve recognition for their contributions to Neighborhood House and the Logan Heights community.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Social Workers and the Progressive Era Spirit of Reform

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Social Workers and the Progressive Era Spirit of Reform

by Maria E. Garcia 02.07.2015 Activism

Mary Snyder, Rebecca Halley and Anita Jones, the early years

By Maria E. Garcia

Women had a great deal of influence and contributed to the work at Neighborhood House. A number of them did so as members of the newly recognized profession of social work. Settlement Houses originated in England and by the 1880’s they had become established in the United States. Neighborhood House came into being as part of the settlement house movement.

Settlement houses were usually established in poor urban areas and provided a variety of services to the community. Those services included cooking classes, adult education, craft and sewing classes. They also did crisis intervention and provided home health care and daycare for working mothers. The settlement house movement evolved in parallel with the social worker movement in this country. Both were unique agents of social reform during the Progressive Era from 1890-1920.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights:  Mary Barrios, Part II

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Barrios, Part II

by Maria E. Garcia 01.31.2015 History of Neighborhood House

The War Years, Romance and Work

By Maria E. Garcia

Mary Barrios’ early years centered around the activities provided by Neighborhood House during the 1930’s. She learned to cook and sew and went to Camp Dehesa. Neighborhood House services took some of the stress off of struggling families like Mary’s during The Great Depression.

Her father and her mother were both widows and came to the marriage with children. They also had children together and at one point a woman that worked at the cannery gave her mother a baby boy. This woman felt she could not return to Mexico with a child born out of wedlock. This very big family lived at 1870 Newton Ave.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Bits: Barrio Logan Planning Group Begins, SD Workers Center to Open, Break Down Borders Run, La Bodega’s Anniversary y más!

Barrio Bits: Barrio Logan Planning Group Begins, SD Workers Center to Open, Break Down Borders Run, La Bodega’s Anniversary y más!

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.22.2015 Desde la Logan

By Brent E. Beltrán

This is the first in what I hope will be a bi-weekly column within my Desde la Logan column that will highlight the various happenings in the barrios of San Diego. I can’t cover everything but I can highlight those things that I feel deserve to be seen and read about. It’s a work in progress so bear with me.

Barrio Logan Planning Group Holds First Meeting
Barrio Logan finally has a planning group! And I’m on it!

On January 20 the Barrio Logan Planning Group held its first meeting ever at Woodbury University School of Architecture. The meeting was attended by more than 65 people plus the fifteen appointed planning group members that were able to make it. The large crowd was a good start and shows the interest that community members have in getting involved in Barrio Logan.

Maritime industry made it very clear that they were upset with David Alvarez not appointing anybody of their liking to the group. Well boohoo! Elections have consequences and the consequences for their B & C referendum is them not (yet) having a seat on the planning group. There’ll be plenty of opportunities in the future for them to worm their way onto the group. Until then they can give public comment.

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Thumbnail image for The Lighting of the Barrio Logan Gateway Sign

The Lighting of the Barrio Logan Gateway Sign

by Horacio Jones 12.31.2014 Activism

By Horacio Jones

December 13, 2014 was a historic day for the up and coming neighborhood of Barrio Logan. It was the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Barrio Logan gateway sign. It is a distinctive addition to the existing signs in the Gaslamp, University Heights, Hillcrest, North Park and The Boulevard.

I was able to get insight into the creative process behind the sign and its symbolism through interviews with lead artist Armando Nuñez and architect Vicky Estrada. It was a fun-filled day for the community with Aztec dancing, Mariachi Music, original music from Cumbia Machin and local vendors selling food and art.

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Thumbnail image for Remembering Peter “Pete” Chacon, June 10, 1925 to Dec. 14, 2014

Remembering Peter “Pete” Chacon, June 10, 1925 to Dec. 14, 2014

by At Large 12.27.2014 Activism

Educator, Activist, California State Assemblyman 1970-1992

By Paul Chacon

Peter Chacon served in the California State Legislature from 1970 until his retirement in 1992 representing the urban core of San Diego. Upon his election, he became only the second Latino legislator elected to State of California public office in the past (100) years. Together with Alex Garcia, they formed the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a membership of just two.

Peter was born in Phoenix, Arizona on June 10, 1925 to Severita and Petronilo Chacon. His father had served as a commander in Poncho Villa’s revolutionary army and he passed on to his family the passion and determination to fight for what they believe in and to defend the rights of those who can’t defend themselves.

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Thumbnail image for 5th Annual Love Thy Neighbor Toy Drive Takes Place This Weekend

5th Annual Love Thy Neighbor Toy Drive Takes Place This Weekend

by Brent E. Beltrán 12.11.2014 Arts

 By Brent E. Beltrán

This weekend the 5th annual Love Thy Neighbor Clothing & Toy Drive takes place at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. For the past five years Ruben Torres and some of his close friends have organized this event to bring a little joy during the Christmas season to youths in San Diego and Tijuana.

South Bay native Ruben Torres continues to give back to the community he loves. He says, “God gives us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with. I’m honored to see the community come together to give and to be a blessing to the needy.”

Toys will be collected for the children of the YWCA as well as families of The Training Center in Spring Valley.

This year’s main event takes place on Sunday, December 14 from 12-8pm and is hosted by radio DJ Beto Perez of 95.7 KISS FM and features an art show curated by Ruben Torres and Wendy Wolf.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights:  Viva Tortilla’s Army!

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Viva Tortilla’s Army!

by Maria E. Garcia 12.06.2014 Culture

Lasting friendships, family ties and community

By Maria E. Garcia

Tortilla’s Army was the spontaneous outgrowth of the ways World War II altered life in Logan Heights and its intersection with the charisma and leadership of  young Manuel “Tortilla” Ojeda.  A favorite game during wartime in Logan Heights was playing army.

By 1942 Tortilla had assembled his troop of kids as young as five and as old as fourteen.  He had pressed into service his younger cousins, neighborhood friends and his younger brother Nando. General Tortilla marched his growing ranks around the neighborhood to protect it and to be prepared to fight.

After the summer of 1942, the participation in Tortilla’s Army slowly died. …

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Tortilla’s Army – Defending Logan Heights

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Tortilla’s Army – Defending Logan Heights

by Maria E. Garcia 11.29.2014 Culture

The Summer of ’42, patriotism and childhood’s end

By Maria E. Garcia

San Diego in the 1940’s was alive with military action. Newspapers were full of stories about defending the home front, men were training for military duty and bunkers were being built on Point Loma. If my source is correct there is a bunker by Chavez Parkway and Main Street. The men from Logan Heights had left for Europe and the Western Pacific during War War II.

In Logan Heights a favorite game became playing army. Visualize looking across the bay to Coronado. You see ships leaving and preparing to go across the ocean to defend our country. Newspapers and the radio had constant reminders of the dangers of living in a military town on the western side of our country. In this atmosphere Tortilla’s Army was born.

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Thumbnail image for SDFP Street Beat: North Park Jack in the Box, South Park Target, Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Update

SDFP Street Beat: North Park Jack in the Box, South Park Target, Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Update

by Anna Daniels 11.14.2014 Activism

By Anna Daniels

Renovation, Rebuild or Turducken?

The North Park Preservation lawsuit against Jack in the Box/City of San Diego is moving forward, with a Summary Judgment hearing before Judge Prager on Friday, November 21.

The group filed the suit when Jack in the Box underwent renovations and a rebuild that the community maintains are violations of city zoning and the community plan. Also at issue is that the city did not correctly permit the project.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Lupita Evers and the Power of the Keys

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Lupita Evers and the Power of the Keys

by Maria E. Garcia 11.08.2014 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

The history of Neighborhood House would be incomplete without an article devoted to Lupita Evers.  She appears briefly but often in the interviews I have conducted.  Lupita is remembered for what made her different, for the qualities that set her apart from other people.

Lupita was born in Mexico on December 31, 1898. Her father, Herman Evers, was born in Germany. Her mother, Antonia Ochoa, was born in Mexico.  Lupita came to Logan Heights as a child and grew up there. Nothing about her family history was out of the ordinary at that time in Logan Heights. But Lupita came into the world as a little person–she was born with the genetic condition of dwarfism. This condition was viewed in a far different way than would be considered acceptable today.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Community Speaks Out Against Police Brutality

San Diego Community Speaks Out Against Police Brutality

by At Large 11.07.2014 Activism

Don’t Shoot: Show Love to Take Place in Barrio Logan  

By Nepantla Collective

In light of an ongoing epidemic of police brutality, both locally and around the globe, where targets are predominantly impoverished, marginalized and/or people of color, the Nepantla Collective will be hosting a one-day event in Barrio Logan, entitled “Don’t Shoot: Show Love”. This event will take place on Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 3pm to 10pm in in Barrio Logan’s Barrio Arts District.

Monica Hernandez of the Nepantla Collective breaks down why they decided to organize the events and why Barrio Logan was chosen as the venue:

A few years back, my best friend was severely brutalized and beaten by SDPD. Granted he had been rightfully stopped for a traffic violation & had drank a few beers that evening, but by no means did that warrant the excessive force that left his entire body severely bruised. He could barely walk for days, but what hurt me more than to see him in such physical pain, was the look in his eyes that reflected a loss of dignity, which had been brutally stripped from his soul that day.

It was the same look my brother had when he was released from incarceration after being arrested at a student protest. My brother had been charged with assault and battery of a police officer, when in fact it was them (about 3 – 4 officers) who had kicked and broken one of my brother’s ribs. Fortunately we had video footage of the incident and after over a year in court, the Superior Court of Alameda County not only dismissed all charges but also granted a factual finding of innocence.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Legacy of Laura Rodriguez

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Legacy of Laura Rodriguez

by Maria E. Garcia 11.01.2014 Activism

By Maria E. Garcia

Last week’s article about Laura Rodriguez ended with the fearless, sixty-one year old grandmother turned barrio activist chained to the front door of Neighborhood House.  Earlier that October 1970 evening, the case had been made at the Barrio Logan Community Action Committee (CAC) meeting that Neighborhood House, which had been converted to administrative offices, must once again provide services to the community as it had for so many decades in the past.  Laura Rodriguez had been advocating for its use as a badly needed community health clinic.

The show down happened that very evening. …

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Thumbnail image for What Does Día de los Muertos Mean to You?

What Does Día de los Muertos Mean to You?

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.30.2014 Culture

A list of the many Day of the Dead events happening this weekend in San Diego

By Brent E. Beltrán

Every year Mexicans celebrate their dead by honoring and remembering passed loved ones or people they may have admired on los días de los muertos, the Days of the Dead. November 1 is for honoring the children that have moved on from this mortal plane. November 2 is for remembering the adults.

How one honors those that are no longer here varies. The meaning does as well. Though it always comes down to remembering.

I asked some people I know, what does Día de los Muertos mean to you? Here are their responses and then a listing of Día de los Muertos celebrations throughout San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Laura Rodriguez, the Family Matriarch Who Became Barrio Activist

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Laura Rodriguez, the Family Matriarch Who Became Barrio Activist

by Maria E. Garcia 10.25.2014 Activism

By Maria E. Garcia

On October 5, 1970, Logan Heights resident Laura Rodriguez chained herself to the Neighborhood House doors, setting in motion what has come to be known as The Occupation.  The fearless sixty-one year old grandmother chose this very public display of activism to force a decision on the future of Neighborhood House.

The services that Neighborhood House had provided to the community for decades were  reduced and eliminated as that location evolved in the mid-1960’s into an administrative office. Laura and Logan Heights activists would ultimately win this battle, with Neighborhood House becoming a Centro de Salud– health clinic– as the community had demanded.

I will describe in much more detail the actual occupation in a future article.  On this October anniversary, Laura Rodriguez deserves her own series of articles that traces her life from her Logan Heights beginnings to the years she lived at the Marston House and her return to Logan Heights.

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Thumbnail image for UCSD’s CHE Cafe Facing Eviction Next Week

UCSD’s CHE Cafe Facing Eviction Next Week

by Doug Porter 10.22.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

A ruling by Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal yesterday may well mean the end of the road for the C.H.E. Cafe, a student run cooperative at UCSD.

The co-op will have five calendar days to vacate once a written order is signed by the judge and the university files a writ of possession, meaning the group could be evicted by the middle of next week.

Supporters of the C.H.E.were vague about their future plans when speaking with the news media following the court decision, saying they were considering further legal actions and promising to continue protest activity and lobbying.

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The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Dora Garcia and the Lucky 13 Club

by Maria E. Garcia 10.18.2014 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

Lucky 13, June 1948

Mary Dora Hollman Garcia grew up on the 1800 block of Newton Avenue in Logan Heights and attended kindergarten at Neighborhood House during the 1930’s. In the days before Lowell Elementary School was built she attended Burbank School.

The walk to Burbank School was carried out under the watchful eyes of families and neighbors. Dora would leave her house with her aunt watching her walk down the street. She would walk two doors down, pick up a little friend there and then they would walk by Irene Mena’s house and pick her up.

With every person that was added to the group another neighbor or family member would take over the responsibility of watching the kids walk to school. The last stop brought the walking brigade to a total of eight children walking to Burbank School. …

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Thumbnail image for SDFP Street Beat: Sherman Heights Streets, SDG&E’s High Pressure Gas Lines in the Mid-City, Artificial Turf in Pacific Beach Schools

SDFP Street Beat: Sherman Heights Streets, SDG&E’s High Pressure Gas Lines in the Mid-City, Artificial Turf in Pacific Beach Schools

by Staff 10.15.2014 Activism

By Staff

The San Diego Free Press receives emails about quality of life issues from residents across the city and county. These issues receive little if any media coverage and inadequate attention from policy makers and enforcement agencies.  We have decided to provide a civic forum for those issues in our weekly Street Beat column.

Sherman Heights Street Conditions

Sherman Heights resident Remy Bermúdez sent the following email to Councilman Alvarez, Mayor Faulkner and Council President Gloria:

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The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Sailors, Pachucos and Life In-Between

by Maria E. Garcia 10.11.2014 Culture

Part III of the Not so Great Depression and World War II Come to Logan Heights

By Maria E. Garcia

World War II PosterThe Depression and the advent of World War II brought social and economic change to Logan Heights. Residents who lost their jobs and savings during the Depression found a scapegoat for their anger and fears in the form of their neighbors of Mexican descent.

These residents, many of whom who had been actively recruited by American business owners, ranchers and farmers in the early twentieth century were now seen as job stealers and a burden to the welfare system. They were denied employment, dropped from the welfare rolls and actively repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of the repatriated individuals were American citizens.

Several men that I have interviewed told of their mothers crying when they heard we were at war. Men were enlisting and being drafted. The whittling away of the Logan Heights population which first occurred during the repatriation, became even more apparent when so many of the men, often the household’s primary breadwinner, went off to war. An unprecedented number of women entered the workforce in the canneries and defense industry as a result.

But there was an influx of a new group in Logan Heights–sailors. …

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Thumbnail image for David Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Siting of Winter Homeless Shelter

David Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Siting of Winter Homeless Shelter

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.09.2014 Desde la Logan

Barrio Logan to host this year but won’t be considered in 2016

By Brent E. Beltrán

With his back against the wall, and a community within his district upset with the continued siting of the winter shelter in their neighborhood and the negative impact it brings, Councilmember David Alvarez stepped up and brokered a compromise.

Though the shelter will return this coming winter the City Council voted unanimously (with Councilmember Marti Emerald absent due to health reasons) with Mr. Alvarez’s motion to not have the location at Newton Avenue and 16th Street in Barrio Logan considered by the Housing Commission in 2016.

It’s rare that Republican City Councilmembers vote on anything positive for Barrio Logan. This compromise is one of the few times in recent memory and a welcome sight. It also shows Mr. Alvarez’s ability to get deals done when needed.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Life in Logan Heights During War Time

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Life in Logan Heights During War Time

by Maria E. Garcia 10.04.2014 Culture

Part II of the Not-so-great Depression and WWII

By Maria E. Garcia

Part I of this series presented a glimpse of life in Logan Heights during the the Great Depression. The Mexican Repatriation Act resulted in a massive, largely forced return of residents of Mexican descent in the US back to Mexico in the 1930’s. It is estimated that sixty percent of these individuals who returned to Mexico were American citizens. Last week’s article talks about one Logan Heights family that stayed– the Kennistons– and one family that left– the Leybas.

The months leading up to WWII and the declaration of war had a tremendous impact on life in Logan Heights. The radio and the newspaper were constantly focusing not only on the war, but on what could happen in San Diego should the war come to the shores of the United States. San Diego was definitely a Navy town with added patrols on the bay and Quonset huts springing up around various locations, some right in the middle of the barrio.

Several of those interviewed spoke of their mothers crying, knowing that their sons would soon be drafted and be off to fight in foreign places.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Not-So-Great Depression and WW II Come to Logan Heights – Part I

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Not-So-Great Depression and WW II Come to Logan Heights – Part I

by Maria E. Garcia 09.27.2014 Culture

The Mexican Repatriation and hard times

By Maria E. Garcia

The 1930s and the Depression brought many changes to the families living in Logan Heights. The Great Depression started in 1929 and ended around 1941 when World War II brought jobs to the country as a whole and to places like San Diego in particular. In the late 1930s the economy improved. The war had created a lot of jobs and had a great influence in ending the Depression. In San Diego, the aircraft industry which included Consolidated-Vultee (which eventually became Convair), flourished and provided employment.

The similarities between the political climate of the Great Depression era and today are frightening. Like today, there was a call to deport Mexicans and Mexican-Americans and return them to Mexico. Like today, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were perceived as taking jobs that belonged to “real” Americans, and like today, it was also believed that deportation would reduce the number of people on the relief rolls.

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