Central America(n)s in San Francisco: History, Legacy, and Art
Posted by:
Sofia Ayala Perel




Culture | San Francisco

Central America(n)s in San Francisco: History, Legacy, and Art

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Immigration and Migration are key themes seen within murals across the state of California. In San Francisco, tropes, histories, and stories of life and war in Central America are visible on the walls of the City, from the historic Balmy Alley and beyond.

Join California Historical Society for an evening that explores the history and impact of Central American immigration to San Francisco and the broader Bay Area and learn how art, historically and contemporarily, has been, and continues to be, a powerful tool to share the truth, history, and stories of Central America(n)s.

The program will consist of presentations by each of our speakers and close with a conversation with the audience.

About our Speakers

Martivón Galindo Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Central America. Ph.D. Hispanic Languages and Literatures, UC. Berkeley, 1998. Architect. Universidad de El Salvador, Central America, 1972. Retired Emeritus Professor Latin American & Latino/a Studies, Holy Names University. She is also a writer, a painter and a printmaker. Was founder member and director of the Cultural Center of El Salvador (CÓDICES, 1985 – 1991)

A native of El Salvador, Dr. Córdova has lived in San Francisco since 1965 and has actively participated in the Latino community for five decades. He is a professor of Latino Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and has been for over 43 years, teaching courses in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Community Organizing, and Latino Arts.

Lead researcher/ team leader/ founding member at the San Francisco Latino Historical Society. Responsible for the research and writing of the San Francisco Latino Context Statement: Nuestra Historia: Documenting the Chicano, Latino, and Indígena Contributions to the Development of San Francisco. A project funded to the San Francisco Latino Historical Society and San Francisco Heritage by the City of San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Fund Committee, this citywide historic context statement documents Latino history as it pertains to the physical and cultural landscape of San Francisco offering recommendations on how best to preserve and maintain architectural, cultural, and historical resources important to Latino communities.

Research Specialties:

  • Latino Cultural Studies- migration, demographics, and adaptation of Latino immigrants in the US. Emphasis on Central Americans in the U.S. Author of “The Salvadoran Americans- The New Americans” Greenwood Press 2005.
  • Extensive work conducted on Latino arts in the United States. Founding member of the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco
  • Traditional Medical systems in Latin America, shamanism, spirituality and religion. Extensive research with Mayan shamans in Guatemala and Afro-Caribbean spirituality in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Josué Rojas became executive director at Acción Latina in early 2017. As an artist, educator and Mission native, Rojas has over 20 years of experience in fine arts, community arts, arts leadership, and bilingual and ethnic media in the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout his many endeavors, his work and vision have been characterized by a commitment to San Francisco’s cherished values of community arts and media, civic engagement, social justice and empowerment for migrant communities and marginalized communities at large.

“I am a Salvadoran-born American Citizen, a Californian, a teacher. My work is informed by my bicultural and bilingual experience. Part of a continuum, my work and personal creative vision contribute to a visual heritage of creative critical consciousness.”

Mauricio E. Ramirez is a third-year Ph.D. student in Latin American and Latinx Studies with an emphasis in Visual Studies at the UC Santa Cruz. Before this program, Mauricio received a Master of Arts in Teaching Visual Arts at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and his Bachelor’s degree in Art at UC Santa Cruz. Mauricio is also a part-time teacher at The Imagine Bus Project where he teaches visual art to incarcerated youth in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

Broadly, his interests lie in the field of Latinx visual studies with a focus on public art and murals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mauricio’s current research project explores the visual expressions that emerged in San Francisco’s Mission District due to the political conflicts in Central America and the mass influx of Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and Guatemalans to the city. Focusing on art-activism against U.S. intervention in Central America, his project asks why and how Latinx artists created visual artworks in solidarity with the Central American diaspora during the 1980s. Furthermore, by combining visual analysis, archival research, and oral histories, he explores how new and old murals relating to Central America continue to reclaim public space for the Latinx community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.


California Historical Society - 678 Mission Street, San Francisco CA


Date/Time Event

06/29/2019 - 06/30/2019

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