Washington notable latinos
Villanueva, Tomas (1937-). Tomas Villanueva is the founder and past president of the United Farm Workers of Washington State. Tomas Villanueva came to Washington with his family at the age of 14 to work as a farmworker in eastern Washington. In 1967 he founded the United Farm Worker Cooperative; from 1967 to 1974, Villanueva also was instrumental in starting the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic; the United Farm
Workers Service Center; a wave of hop harvest strikes in 1969, 1970, and 1971; and an increasingly successful grape boycott. Currently he lives in Toppenish and remains active in state and local politics.
Aguayo, Emilio (1939-). Muralist Emilio Aguayo came from Denver to the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s. While a student at the University of Washington, Emilio painted the first regional Chicano mural, titled Aztlan.
Gamboa, Guadalupe (1940-). Labor activist Guadalupe Gamboa was born to Mexican parents and came to Washington as part of the migrant farmworker community. He grew up in Yakima valley. He has been active in farmworker organizing since the 1960s and is one of the founders of the United Farm Workers of Washington State. He is a graduate of University of Washington law school and one of the founders of MEChA at the University of Washington.
Gamboa, Erasmo (1944-). Educator and activist Erasmo Gamboa was born in Texas and grew up in the Yakima valley. In 1968 he enrolled at the University of Washington and founded the UW Chapter of MEChA. He was also the chairman of the university boycott committee, supporting the United Farm Workers’ boycott of nonunion grapes. Gamboa earned an MA in History from the University of Washington in 1973, and his PhD in 1984. He is currently associate professor of Chicano studies and adjunct associate professor of history and Latin American studies at UW. Dr. Gamboa assisted in the beginning of the Chicano Studies program at the University of Washington.
DeSiga, Daniel (1949-). Artist Daniel DeSiga was born in Walla Walla, Washington. He was employed as a farmworker in eastern Washington for many years before he became known for his artwork. Some of Daniel DeSiga’s more notable works are the murals at El Centro de La Raza in Seattle and his artwork depicting farmworkers in Toppenish, Washington.
Guillen, Rosalina (1963-). Community organizer Rosalinda Guillen moved to Washington at the age of ten with her family and worked as part of the migrant farm labor community in the northwest for much of the next decade. Guillen’s training as a community organizer began in 1988 when she was recruited by the Rainbow Coalition to mobilize support in Washington State for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign. From 1993 to 1995, she ran the grassroots worker organizing campaign, which resulted in the first union contract for farmworkers in Washington State. Guillen is the cofounder of and currently the executive director for a grassroots organization in Bellingham, Washington, called Community to Community Development, which is committed to strengthening social, economic, and environmental justice movements.
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