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Born in 1943, Mr. Gutiérrez was the first Mexican American to organize and establish a network of alternative education schools in Texas, the Student Alternatives Program, Inc.
Mr.Gutiérrez discusses the purpose and mission of his non-profit organization, the Student Alternatives Program, Inc., that is an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza. He talks about the differences in emphasis between his organization and that of Ernesto and Gloria Nieto's National Hispanic Institute. Mr. Gutiérrez gives a detailed history of his work in alternative education systems in Texas and how he was able to begin contracting with the public schools to offer his services. He tells about his family history and genealogy, and relates some childhood memories of race discrimination practices he experienced. He tells about attending the University of Mexico where he became more socially and politically aware through exposure to people from many areas of the world. Mr. Gutiérrez briefly tells about his involvement with MECHA, NOMAS, and MAYA. He describes his work for Education Systems Corporation (ECS), which provided services to migrant seasonal farm workers, and he describes his employment by various foundation organizations before developing his educational alternatives business. Mr. Guti'errez concludes the interview by reviewing the reasons for the failure of the Zavala County Economic Development plan and talks about testifying during court litigation concerning that failure.
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