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Sharing Family Stories

When brothers Armando and Carlos Peña set off to carry their mother’s ashes to south Texas in Calavera Highway, their road trip turns into a quest for answers about their family’s strangely veiled past.

The Peña discover many new family stories on their journey. How can you learn more about your own family’s stories and about Mexican American history?

Find ways to tell and record your important family stories. At a family reunion or event, set aside time to tell and discuss the significance of the stories. Consider planning ways to share the stories with future generations and/or sharing them with an oral history archive.

Ask your school district what they teach about Mexican American history and culture, including information about labor policies, deportations, and the school walkouts of the 1960s. Work with teachers and school officials to integrate accurate information into the curriculum and to help schools establish connections to resources — for example, speakers, websites, historians and so on — that might aid them in their efforts.