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Posted on: July 28, 2023

Celebrating Anaheim’s Chicano Heritage in August

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 28, 2023) — Chicano heritage holds a special place in the heart and history of Anaheim with celebrations set across the city in August for Chicano Heritage Month.

Anaheim’s libraries, community centers and a park will be part of the monthlong celebration with events, performances, a backpack giveaway and plans for a Chicano heritage mural in the works.

“Chicano-Chicana heritage is a rich part of Anaheim’s history,” Mayor Ashleigh Aitken said. “Mexican Americans have been part of Anaheim from the start and make up one of the largest culturally unique groups in our diverse city today. We join with them and invite everyone to join us in celebrating with a series of events at our libraries and parks throughout August.”

“As with so many in Anaheim, this recognition is meaningful to me as a Chicana and lifelong resident of this city,” said Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Natalie Rubalcava, who led the City Council’s recent recognition of Chicano Heritage Month. “As a fourth-generation Mexican American, I am proud to be part of a cultural legacy that has contributed so much to Anaheim. I look forward to joining with the community to uplift Mexican American voices and celebrate with purpose as we enjoy educational events across our city.”

Little People’s Park

As part of the celebration, a new Chicano mural is planned at Little People’s Park in downtown Anaheim.

The park holds significance for Anaheim Chicanos. Just across the street, the Sohan Market building hosts a Chicano mural, “Memories of the Past and Images of the Present,” painted in 1977 by Emigdo Vasquez, an artist who painted murals across Anaheim and whose son Emigdo “Higgy” Vasquez continues the family tradition today.

While the market mural is in the hands of the building owner, Anaheim wants to ensure the community has a lasting art tribute to Chicano culture at Little People’s Park. We look forward to sharing more details on the mural in the weeks ahead.

Libraries

Anaheim Public Library will host events throughout the month and is sharing a reading list of nearly 40 Chicano and Chicana stories, historical accounts and cookbooks.

At Central Library on Aug.19 at 11 a.m., join us for a family storytime with first-time author and Anaheim Elementary School District teacher Jaime Moeria reading from his bilingual book “Eddy: Embracing Differences and Celebrating Abilities.”

Throughout August, all of Anaheim’s libraries will be hosting events and programs highlighting Chicano heritage including family storytimes, movie screenings, karaoke competitions, cooking demonstrations, crafts and more.

Find full details on library events in August at Anaheim.net/library

Community centers

Anaheim’s family resource centers, community centers and youth programs will also take part in Chicano Heritage Month with a backpack giveaway for kids returning to school, performances and more.

Ponderosa Park Family Resource Center on Aug. 7 from 5-7 p.m. hosts a family arts and craft night and backpack giveaway with Chicano-themed activities and biography readings of Chicano leaders. 

On Aug. 19 at 6 p.m., Ponderosa hosts the Native Root Aztec Dance group, including Chicano members, performing native dances.

Other community centers will show movies “Selena” and “Encanto” and host displays of Chicano leaders, while Anaheim’s youth programs will bring Chicano-themed activities to neighborhoods with their summer programs. 

For more information on community services events, see Anaheim.net/CommunityServices. 

Mexican Americans have been a big part of Anaheim from before the formal 1857 founding of our city to today.

Our city’s very name reflects Mexican American heritage with the Spanish word “Ana” from the Santa Ana River combined with the word “heim” for home from our German founders to create our city’s name meaning as “home by the river.”

Mexican Americans have been part of Anaheim since the Spanish and Mexican Land Grant rancho era, our early agricultural days and today with iconic Anaheim businesses including Hispanic grocer Northgate Gonzalez Market and authentic restaurant chain Taqueria de Anda. 

Along the way, our community’s culture has been enriched by the art, literature, engagement and creativity of our Chicano residents.

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