The Latino History Project was founded in 2013 to help correct the limited presence of local Latino history and culture in most Colorado histories and school curriculums.  The project focused initially on Boulder County but in 2017 began expanding to other parts of the state:

  • to help local communities gather information about their own people of color;
  • to make this material readily available in convenient online formats;
  • to work with PreK-12 teachers on how to use such information into their classrooms.

Boulder County Beginnings

Boulder County Latino History Project interns

Boulder County Latino History Project interns with Prof. Marjorie McIntosh

In Boulder County, the project was directed by a 15-person Advisory Committee composed mainly of local Latinos/-as.  It mobilized the efforts of nearly 100 community volunteers and young interns to gather a great deal of information.  The material included 75 oral history interviews or family biographies, hundreds of family photos, newspaper articles, and information from school and Census records.  All 1,600 sources were digitized and put onto a website that can be searched in many different ways.

The project also gave presentations to community groups and schools, and Prof. Marjorie McIntosh wrote a pair of books about what had been learned (Latinos of Boulder County, Colorado, 1900-1980, Vols. I and II, available through local bookstores and online sellers like Amazon).  Three students at the University of Colorado wrote and illustrated a bilingual children’s book about an important community leader who founded the Clinica Campesina and after whom an elementary school is named (Mi Mamá, Alicia Sanchez, by Baeza-Breinbauer, LeNard, and Mook, available at Amazon).

Perhaps most importantly, the Boulder County wing of the project runs workshops for PreK-12 teachers and has prepared a separate website with valuable material for educators, including Primary Source Sets, Lesson Plans written by the participating teachers, and many other resources.  The Latino History Project believes that all students need to realize that Colorado has profited from diversity throughout its history; Latino students gain a greater sense of pride in their own heritage and a more positive identity when they learn about the struggles and contributions of people who are like them and their earlier relatives.

Partnership with Additional Communities

As word of the Latino History Project spread, other communities have expressed interest in doing something similar.  The project has therefore extended its work to additional places.  By 2018-19, it was active in Alamosa/the southern San Luis Valley; Trinidad/Las Animas County; Pueblo; and the Adams-12 School District, serving the north Denver suburbs.  In these settings, it works in partnership with local community groups, museums/libraries, and teachers and schools to help them achieve their own goals.

Our Backers

The project has been supported by the University of Colorado at Boulder, especially the Outreach Program, the Chancellor, the School of Education, and the BUENO Center; the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts; organizations such as the Community Foundation Boulder County, the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, and the Colorado chapter of AARP; businesses and banks; and family foundations and individual donors. Donations may be made through the University of Colorado Foundation, a tax-exempt organization.