Pioneros from near and far to gather at Woodburn ceremonies
By Richard Jones, El Hispanic News
West Linn, OR — They came from an impoverished south Texas village. They wound up creating one of the most respected farms in the rich Willamette Valley. The family name: Bustamante.
From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 24, the Bustamantes will be highlighted at a ceremony at Rubis Hall, in the St. Luke Church in Woodburn, Ore.
Oregon’s unofficial Latino historian, Miguel A. Salinas, is coordinating this “event like no other.” Salinas says the celebration will “give a perspective of everything that has happened over the last 50 years.”
A century ago, Oregon farmers worked fields small enough for their families to handle. With that limitation, they could not expand. But in the 1940s the dynamics began to change.
During the 1940s and 1950s Spanish-speaking families from Texas — Tejanos — began arriving in the Willamette Valley. This influx of labor helped Oregon farms to expand.
At first the Tejanos came to work through the summer, make enough money to get them through the winter, and then return to Texas. Then they realized they could eliminate the 2,000 drive north and another 2,000 mile drive south every year if they settled in Oregon.
Claudio Bustamante was one of the first to buy property near St. Paul, Ore. He caught the notice of Oregonians as he worked before sun-up to after sundown every day to improve his farm and challenge the established farms.
The stereotype of Tejanos, Mexicanos, and other Latinos as simply so much cheap labor began to fade. The pioneros led the way for those who came later to become successful in businesses, the professions, and the arts. It is only fitting that these Spanish-speaking trail blazers be recognized for opening doors for recently arrived groups.
The June 24 celebration in Woodburn, Ore. will honor all pioneers, but especially the Bustamante family. Now in their 80s and 90s, they will be featured in this festive reunion of pioneros.
The family includes six brothers — Cruz, Claudio, Mauro (deceased), Armando, Lauro, and Osvaldo — and two sisters Delia and Cleotilde (deceased).
Health problems prevent Cruz Bustamante from coming from Carrizo Springs, Texas, to Woodburn. However, he will address those in Woodburn via a long distance telephone connection.
The lack of mobility and failing health of many of the pioneros have become a limiting issue.
“Nature reminds one of the importance of celebrating those who led they way,” Salinas said.
The experience will be akin to opening a history book, but instead of reading about the pioneros, you will talk to them and shake their hands. How great is that?
In addition to learning about the entry of Tejanos into the Willamette Valley from the history makers themselves, visitors can examine hundreds of historical photographs. Entertainment will consist of music from 60 years ago, as well as snacks, pan dulce, and drinks. Donations will support St. Luke Church.
For more information, call 503-657-8290 or e-mail email@example.com.
Este artículo también está disponible en / This post is also available in: Spanish
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