Walking Through Barrio Anita's History



In the summer of 1999, we, the editors of The Barrio Anita Oral History Project, worked on the second edition to the volume of “Visions of Barrio Anita.” The Barrio Anita Neighborhood Association received funding from Pima County to unlock the mysteries of the past. Ten youth were chosen to take on this task; we were able to go further in depth on the history of Barrio Anita by interviewing and researching the people of past generations.

As a group of ten we listened and worked with the elders of the neighborhood. With their cooperation and intriguing stories we were able to create this book. We, as a group, chose to divide the stories of the people into sections consisting of: traditions; the neighborhood's people support; and highlight interviews with residents of this barrio.

There are many aspects of life that the people of the barrio have experienced, their stories of legends entwined with facts that were told to us. By listening to their memories, we were able to further enrich the people of Tucson of this barrio. This book is based on people's memories and facts of their lives in Barrio Anita. The purpose of “Walking Through Barrio Anita's History” is to further educate Tucson about the history of Barrio Anita. It is also, to let people know who the residents of the barrio are, what special events and experiences they had in the past, and why their neighborhood is so special to them. The ambitions of The Barrio Anita Oral History Project is to have “Walking Through Barrio Anita’s History” and “Visions of Barrio Anita” be the keys to preserving the history of Barrio Anita. Through our research we uncovered the untold stories of the elders of Barrio Anita. We appreciate their time and shared memories. Without them this book would not be possible. We hope you enjoy our book, “Walking Through Barrio Anita’s History, Una Familia Unida”.

This publication sponsored by:

Davis Bilingual Magnet School and TUSD. Thanks a million for letting us use the computer lab one more time and, of course, for Yolanda Alvarez for the seven weeks. Dr. Romero and staff at Davis are directly responsible for the growth of the Barrio Anita Neighborhood Association. The Association is fortunate to have such an outstanding partner. We can never thank Rebecca Mont`a~no enough, her assistant Lina Gallardo for their support and help.

Barrio Anita Neighborhood Association. Thank you for all your support, input and contacts. And a very special thanks to Ramon Olivas for his wisdom and courage.

The Tucson Urban League Inc. is a community service non-profit organization founded in 1971 as the 97th affiliate of the National Urban League. The mission of the Tucson Urban League is to assist in the achievement of social and economic equality. The mission is pursued through advocacy on public policies that affect the constituency, race relations to build bridges of understanding toward an integrated and pluralist society, program services to provide comprehensive assistance to individuals and families, and technical assistance to give people, neighborhoods, communities the tools they need to realize their own goals. Elizabeth Hightower is program coordinator and facilitator for the technical assistance department. She is responsible for coordinating various programs and neighborhood enhancement projects. Thank you, Elizabeth Hightower, for your hard work and commitment.

“I am pleased to be affiliated with the staff who worked on this project and look forward to past, present and future ‘Visions of Barrio Anita Neighborhood’.” -Elizabeth Hightower

Pima County Community Services is funded by the Governor’s Office for the Pima County Community Neighborhood Summer Youth Partnership. The program provides a great experience in the arts for the school youth, and the outcome of the production benefits the neighborhood and increases knowledge and cultural awareness in the community. Thank you, Art Eckstrom, Hank Atha and Dorothee Harmon, for believing in us and allowing us to challenge ourselves to create another book.

Community Outreach Unit
In January of 1997, Pima County Attorney Barbara La Wall, in a proactive stance against crime, created the Community Prosecution and Crime Prevention Unit. The Ride the Waves Resiliency Program is one of several programs spawned by this unit. Resiliency specialist Mike Burns conducts “Ride the Waves” presentations to schools and organizations. This program is also offered as a training program for other agency personnel. This is part of an effort of the Pima County Attorney’s Office to create collaborative efforts throughout Pima County to address crime issues, increase public safety and provide opportunities to the youth of our community to live successful lives.

Thanks for the knowledge and advice you have given each of us. The Seven Principles to live by will be very helpful in reaching our goals in life, and excellence is the key to a successful life.

  1. 1. Thinking makes it so.
  2. Anything goes.
  3. What goes around, comes around.
  4. Take responsibility for your life.You own it.
  5. Think, look and go where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.
  6. Humor.
  7. Live your life on purpose.

The Barrio Anita Neighborhood Association wants to thank Lillian Lopez Grant, Margaret McKenna, Janet Roths, Marcia Roberts, Gloria and Frank Manzanedo, and the rest of the Weed and Seed Steering Committee for their continuous dedication to making our community the best it can be.

Special thanks to Jesse Figueroa, Dan Drake, Raquel Arellano, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Tucson Police Department for their commitment to working with our West Side neighborhoods. We also want to thank the South Tucson Weed and Seed Steering Committee for sharing resources and ideas on how to improve our community.

Thanks to Roy Olivas and Sagrario Espinoza for proof reading our book and to Ramon R. Olivas for identifying members of the Oury Park Tigers team.

Special thanks to Tucson-Pima County Historical Commision for their commitment to oral history projects and the financial support to complete “Walking through Barrio Anita’s History”.

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