Jose “Pepe” Villarino is an icon in San Diego’s Latino community, where he has been known for over four decades as an educator, activist and musician.
Pepe was born in Winslow, Arizona, on March 19, 1930. He is the second youngest son born to Rosa Rios and Leocidio Layva. When Pepe was seven years old, just a few days after Rosa gave birth to his sister Rachael, his mother died.
After the Mexican Revolution, Leocidio came to Winslow to work for the railroad. Pepe says his father was light skinned and he believes this trait was crucial for being selected for a better job. Because of this job, the family lived in a house with indoor plumbing. Leocidio paid ten dollars a month for their two-bedroom house. [Read more…]