Preserving a Neglected Chicano History

Created: 10 August, 2018
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

An archieved photo of Herman Baca at Chicano Park, before making a keynote speech in 2005.

History lovers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a part of San Diego history that is often neglected or overlooked: the contributions of Latinos in the region.

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, The San Diego History Center in Balboa Park will host a presentation by San Diego State Professor Emeritus Richard Griswold del Castillo titled Chicano San Diego: A Neglected Heritage.
The lecture will focus on the contributions of Spanish-speaking people in San Diego based on the book edited by Griswold del Castillo “Chicano San Diego Cultural Space and the Struggle for Justice.”

In the book, the author explains how the Mexican and Chicano populations of San Diego have a long, complicated, and rich history that has been traditionally ignored, through a collection of testimonials and historical narratives.

Griswold del Castillo has dedicated much of his life to documenting Chicano stories and the history of Latinos. He taught at SDSU for over 30 years and was actively involved in the Chicano Movement.

For years he has studied different aspects of Chicano history and wrote books like, “Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict,” “Los Angeles Barrio, 1850-1890 A Social History,” and many more.
“We have a presence that has not been recognized, we have an importance to this area that people don’t acknowledge or value,” Griswold said to La Prensa San Diego.

He hopes that the lecture will help young people connect with their heritage and non-latinos to understand the history of Latinos in this region without the shadow of negative rhetoric that covers the Latino population.

Tuesday’s presentation will cover events and people that have shaped the development of the San Diego region and their contributions to the growing Latino population.

The free lecture, Chicano San Diego: A Neglected Heritage, will be held at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park (Casa de Balboa, 1649 El Prado, Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101) from 1 to 2 p.m. and for more information visit