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Book Explores the History and Culture of Latinos in Idaho

Latinos in IdahoIn 2003 the IHC published Latinos in Idaho: Celebrando Cultura, a book that explores the history and culture of the state’s fastest growing minority population.

Compiled as a documentary mix of history and cultural study, the 96-page book offers background on Latino presence in Idaho and also serves as a how-to manual on planning a cultural festival in other communities.

Latinos in Idaho evolved from the collaboration of the Idaho Humanities Council, Nampa’s Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho, and other agencies and individuals to create a first-time, three-day cultural festival in Nampa, Idaho, in September of 2000 called Fiesta Idaho. The project was made possible in part by a special grant to the IHC from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant also funded the development of a traveling exhibit on the history of Latinos in Idaho, called Raíces Históricas, which is available to libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations from the Idaho State Historical Museum.

Latinos in Idaho: Celebrando Cultura features essays and interviews by:

•    Boise State University Professor Robert McCarl interviewing traditional healer and culture bearer Eva Castellanoz;

•    BSU Professor Errol Jones and Idaho State Historical Society Library Assistant Kathy Hodges about researching Idaho Latino history;

•    BSU Modern Language Professor Maria Alicia Garza, about the history and tradition of Mexican corridos, or ballads;

•    University of Washington Professor Erasmo Gamboa on the history of the Mexican-Americans in the diversely ethnic railroad community of Pocatello;

•    University of Texas folklorist Norma Cantú on her personal impressions as a Tijana traveling in Idaho several years ago to document Latino folk culture;

•    Idaho State Historical Museum Registrar Jody Ochoa on the making of the Raíces Históricas traveling exhibit about the history of Latinos in Idaho; and

•     Idaho Commission on the Arts folklorist Maria Carmen Gambliel on the making of Fiesta Idaho.

 •    In addition, the book features a healthy variety of historical and contemporary photographs, interviews, bibliographies, and other commentary.

Latinos in Idaho: Celebrando Cultura is available for $10 (plus $4 shipping and handling. 94 pages; ISBN # 0-931659-84-1).

or call the IHC toll free at 888-345-5346 or email

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