[with many genealogical connections back to the San Luis Valley]
Marjorie K. McIntosh
Distinguished Professor of History Emerita University of Colorado at Boulder
"Since the beginning of the twentieth century, people from Spanish- speaking backgrounds have played essential roles in Boulder County, Colorado. Immigrants from Mexico, northern New Mexico, and southern Colorado provided much of the labor that fueled two of eastern Boulder County’s main economic activities prior to around 1940: growing and processing sugar beets; and coal mining. Work in the beet fields required men, women, and children to stay in a stooped position, using short- handled tools, for hours at a time, often under a hot sun. The housing provided for agricultural laborers was generally deplorable. Coal miners engaged in physically demanding and potentially dangerous work in dark tunnels, always facing the possibility of cave-ins or explosions. Some of their families lived in camps next to the mines, with company stores where purchases for food and other supplies were deducted from miners’ wages. Although Hispanics faced overt racism especially in the 1920s and 1930s—with armed attacks on their unions, threats of violence from the Ku Klux Klan, exclusion from stores and restaurants, and mass deportation orders—they held together in strong families and maintained their faith that life in this region offered a brighter future for themselves and their children. In the decades between 1940 and 1980, access to education and better employment options contributed to ongoing immigration and brought many Boulder County Latinas/os into the wider community, where they continued to make valuable contributions. Returning veterans in the 1940s and 1950s and Chicano civil rights activists in the later 1960s and 1970s took the lead in tackling discrimination. Latino culture expanded the horizons of a predominantly Anglo county."
This two-volume set describes the history of Latinas/os living in Boulder County between 1900 and 1980"....
To read the complete edition of Volume 1 - Read more
Boulder County Latino History Project
With assistance from: Longmont Museum
Endorsed by: Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder