Hispanic Heritage Month
Collection by , and 8 others
Founded San Antonio, Texas in the 1940s by Raoul A. Cortez, KCOR was one the nation's first full-time Spanish-language radio stations.
The Bracero History Archive collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America.
Raoul A. Cortez (1905–1971) thought media should serve the community and promote the common good. After working in a Spanish-language newspaper, he founded a radio station, which became the voice of the Spanish-speaking community in San Antonio. In 1955, he opened KCOR-TV, expanding his broadcasting business and community-centered media vision to television.
Maria Durazo (1953-) learned the hardships of labor in the fields with her Mexican immigrant parents. She became a dynamic union organizer, served as leader of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, and joined the Executive Council of AFL-CIO. Standing with her community, she protested low wages, dangerous working conditions, and deaths of immigrant workers. (Photograph by Peter Holderness)
Dora Hilda Escobar (1969–) arrived from El Salvador in the 1980s, seeking opportunity but finding exploitation. Entrepreneurial and hardworking, she labored in the gray economy selling clothes and making pupusas in her home. Eventually, she built a business selling to the émigré community, which expanded to multiple restaurants and check-cashing facilities.
KWEX Camera and Remote Box, 1970s: Cameraman and reporter Andreas Morin used this portable camera and remote box to record stories on location in and around San Antonio, Texas. KCOR-TV became KWEX with the sale of the station to Emilio Nicolas Sr., Raoul Cortez’s son-in-law, and a group of investors in 1961.
United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez never forgot his roots. His father’s short-handled hoe reminded him of migrants’ backbreaking daily struggles. Chavez organized workers thought to be unorganizable. By using hunger strikes and the call of “Sí, se puede,” he galvanized public support for the plight of farm workers.
In 1938, Emma Tenayuca helped organize the strike of 12,000 pecan shellers in San Antonio, Texas. She was 22 years old at the time.