Throughout the National Park System there are traces of Latino heritage, some obscure, some well-defined and well-preserved. A new book explores these traces and helps you understand the large impact Latinos have had on the United States since the early 19th century.
American Latinos and the Making of the United States was written by Yale University Professor Stephen Pitti, PhD. Through its pages the professor follows five historical figures on their travels through America: the exiled Cuban priest Félix Varela, the Mexican American author María Amparo Ruíz de Burton, the Puerto Rican historian and collector Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Guatemalan civil rights organizer Luisa Moreno, and the Mexican American politician Edward Roybal.
As the author points out, "Latinos have shaped U.S. courts, military and educational institutions, the identification and treatment of disease, and much more. Their impact has been felt in all regions of the United States, from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest, and from California to the Upper Midwest and New England, and their visibility and involvement have increased exponentially in many of these areas over the last 50 years."
In the individuals he chose to portrait, Dr. Pitti picked five rather obscure individuals who nonetheless played "critical roles in the United States since the early 19th Century."
The 45-page booklet, published by Eastern National and available at this site for $5.95, includes a select list of National Park Service sites where you can learn more about Latino history and impacts in the United States. It also offers a list of essays touching on "the intellectual and communicative roles of Lations in the process of U.S. nation-building..." that you can find at this National Park Service website.
“We are pleased to offer this publication which showcases the impact of Latinos on American history,” said Eastern National CEO George Minnucci. “With 22 sites in the National Park System which interpret Latino themes, from the arts and civil rights to science and medicine, the Latino legacy has many stories to tell in America’s national parks.”