10/4/2012 11:01:00 AM Tejano history website launches with party
Salinas family photo
The Salinas family lived in these cabins while working on a farm in St. Paul. Today the structures house animals.
Clarice Keating Of the Catholic Sentinel
For more than a decade, Miguel and Lidia Salinas have volunteered their own time and resources to document the stories of Tejano migrant farm workers who left Asherton, Texas, in the 1950s and came to Marion County. The Spanish-speaking Texans are believed to be the first migrant laborers in the area.
“We wanted to collect personal accounts of migrant life, from the farmers who are still farming today, the offspring of farmers, or the farmers our parents worked for,” Miguel, a retired school principal, told the Catholic Sentinel in June.
“Sometimes it’s hard to look back. There are good memories, but there are also many sad memories.”
They have collected personal accounts, videos and audio recordings, and they will use those stories to create information capsules that can be used in Oregon schools to broadcast the untold stories of these people who long were the backbone of Oregon’s agriculture industry.
On Friday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. the couple and their many supporters will gather to celebrated the launch of the website texmexorusa.org. The site will include the historical accounts Miguel and Lidia have collected.
The launch party will be held at Gervais High School, 300 E Douglas Ave., Miguel’s alma mater, where he was the first Mexican to graduate from the school in 1966. Miguel and his wife Lidia worked as teachers in Woodburn, and then moved to Portland for 20 years, continuing to work as educators. They’re retired today in West Linn.