The history of Latinos in Fort Worth is now getting recognition that some say is long overdue.
A new website, Latino Fort Worth, was revealed on TCU’s campus Wednesday night that commemorates the history of Latinos in Fort Worth by sharing their stories on a digital platform.
Funded by a city grant, the site was the brainchild of the partnership between the City of Fort Worth Human Relations Commission and TCU faculty and students.
The website was launched in Betsy and Steve Palko Hall, where site contributors Dr. Max Krochmal and Moisés Acuña-Gurrola spoke, along with a panel of Latinos who took the time to share their stories on the site.
For older Latinos from Fort Worth, the site is a living memoir. It encapsulates their lives and memories by documenting them in essays and video interviews that can all be accessed on the site for free.
Moisés Acuña-Gurrola, co-director and lead designer of Latino Fort Worth, said the site was meant to be multi dimensional, encompassing written stories, pictures and video narratives.
Acuña-Gurrola said he wanted to showcase the diversity of Fort Worth, but more importantly the diversity within the Latino community.
When he started delving into research for this project, Acuña-Gurrola realized that there was very little information to work with.
“Not much has been written about Latino Fort Worth before,” he said.
Latinos like Jaunita Salinas were appreciative that a site like this one would share a history that many people are unfamiliar with.
Salinas was one of forty Latinos who came to tell their stories during Hispanic Heritage Month of last year, when Dr. Max Krochmal and a team of graduate students conducted interviews termed as “oral history collection days”, which are now available on the site.
“The Latinos of Fort Worth have a very long history, my family has a very long history here, and we have really advanced,” Salinas said.
She has made an effort to moderate parades celebrating Latino culture for the last 51 years in an effort to remind younger Latinos of their ancestors. The City of Fort Worth will be hosting a march and rally on April 2 in commemoration of César Chavez.
Pauline Gasca-Valenciano, another Latina who told her story during the oral history collection days, said that this type of historical archive is, “long overdue.”
The website launched on TCU’s second annual César Chávez day, a day dedicated to Chávez, who worked as a Latino American Civil Rights activist.