Some Hispanic Americans living today can recall a time when barrio or ranch life was marked by a simplicity and neighborliness that has vanished with progress. These thirteen first-person accounts of southern Arizona residents capture a spirit evocative of the Hispanic presence in the Southwest--whether in San Antonio, Santa Fe, Pueblo, or Los Angeles--while striking photographs reflect the grace and dignity of these indomitable individuals.
Patricia Preciado Martin is a native Arizonan and a lifelong Tucsonense. She is a honors graduate of the University of Arizona and has been active in the Chicano community of Tucson for many years. Her books include Songs My Mother Sang to Me: An Oral History of Mexican American Women, El Milagro and Other Stories, and the award-winning short story collection Days of Plenty, Days of Want; her work has been included in numerous anthologies. Martin lives in Tucson with her husband, Jim, and counts the hours until her children visit. Louis Carlos Bernal, also a native Arizonan, received numerous awards and honors for his photography, among them two Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund grants and a 1980 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Bernal, who earned his B.A. and M.F.A. degrees at Arizona State University, taught courses in design and photography at Pima Community College in Tucson.