Culture and Migration: The San Diego Mixtec Experience

Valentina and Paulina Torres

Familia Indígena Unida
Monday, Mar 5, 11:10 am
Room A 213
San Diego City College

Valentina Torres and Paulina Torres will introduce students to the Mixtec culture and history in Oaxaca and in San Diego and present one of the most important experiences of a migrant Mexican Indigenous community. The Mixtecs have preserved and re-created cultural and social links between their people at home and their people in the US, in spite of cultural and national borders.

Valentina and PaulinaTorres were born in the Mexican State of Oaxaca and belongs to the 2,500 year-old Mixtec culture, one of the oldest and most extraordinary original cultures of Mexico. Like many other Mixtecs, the Torres sisters migrated to San Diego. She has worked to improve both her community in San Diego and the one she comes from in Oaxaca. Valentina is one of the first women in her community to graduate from San Diego State University. For several years she has been the director of the Mixtec Cultural Exchange Program. In this program, Mixtec children and adults learn English and Spanish and in exchange, they teach the Mixtec languages to the student volunteers from UCSD, SDSU, USD, City College and other schools. Valentina is the co-founder of Familia Indigena Unida, a grassroots organization that promotes community, self-sufficiency, civic and reproductive rights and cultural preservation among migrant Mixtec families. She is the former president of Ñuu Saa Committee for the Development of Santa Maria Natividad, a small rural village located in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Sponsored by City College Chicana/o Studies Department

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