Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Viviana Cavada

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(109 pages)

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Born August 28, 1945, in Victoria, Texas, Ms. Cavada was an activist in the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) and the Raza Unida Party. She served on the Committee for Rural Democracy and was active in the Institute for Educational Development and the Voluntarios de Aztlán

Interview Summary:

Ms. Cavada discusses her family history and genealogy. She recounts her experiences with racist attitudes in Victoria and Crystal City, Texas. She describes the circumstances that resulted in her parent's decision to send her for a private school education. She talks about graduating from Texas A & I University at Kingsville and teaching at Presbyterian Pan American School. She tells about the difficulties she experienced getting employment in the Texas Schools as a consequence of losing her teaching position with the Eagle Pass, Texas Independent School District due to her political activities. Ms. Cavada explains why she lost her job with project SER (Service, Education, Rehabilitation) following a disagreement with its director. She describes her employment with Voluntarios de Atzlán where she learned to write grant proposals for Atzlán social initiative projects. She elaborates upon the politics involved with getting a health care clinic started for the poor. Ms. Cavada recalls the details on Becas Para Aztlán programs, which were educational grants from the University of Mexico for Mexican Americans seeking professional degrees. She also talks about her election to the Crystal City School Board and the politics of school bond elections. Ms. Cavada describes the events that led her to pursue a law degree at the University of Houston. She recalls her impressions of Corky Gonzalez's leadership during the Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s. She reflects on her role in the events of the Chicano movement during the era of civil rights activism and she elaborates upon her accomplishments and failures fighting for improved social conditions and civil rights reform for Mexican Americans in Texas.

Locations of residence or activity:

Crystal City/Eagle Pass/Kingsville/Victoria

Interview Date: