Boulder County Latino History

“People who are less wealthy and less powerful are often less visible to people above them and in addition they tend not to show up in written records.”

Latinos and their contributions are almost invisible in standard histories of Boulder County and in the American history taught in local schools.  Many families (whether deeply rooted in the community or more recent arrivals) have their own stories about the past, but these memories have rarely been recorded and are in danger of being lost.

Two new books about local Latino history, authored by a CU-Boulder History Professor Emerita Marjorie McIntosh, are being released this week.

The books are the result of a comprehensive, grassroots study of the contributions, struggles, and progress of Latinos in Boulder County.  McIntosh says that she’s not surprised that this history is largely absent from standard history books “this historical problem, the general historical problem stems from the fact that people who are less wealthy and less powerful are often less visible to people above them and in addition they tend not to show up in written records. They’re not documented in the standard kinds of information that historians use to gather information.”

The Boulder County Latino History project gathered oral histories from Latinos in Boulder County. About 20 oral histories were videotaped in 2013 and those histories are present in the new books.

Philip Hernandez was on the advisory committee for the Boulder County Latino History Project, he says the history of his family and families like his is largely ignored by mainstream society.  His personal family has history in mining and agriculture in the state.

“You have individuals who are coming either to work in the mines or to work in the agricultural fields, or a combination of both.  In my case, with my grandparents on my mother’s side, my grandfather would work in the mines and in the summer they would be all over Colorado and many Nebraska in the summer.”

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There will be a book launch for “Latinos of Boulder County, Colorado, 1900-1980, Volume I: History and Contributions” and “Latinos of Boulder County, Colorado, 1900-1980, Volume II: Lives and Legacies” on Tuesday March 8th at 5.30pm at the Longmont History Museum, 400 Quail Road.

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