The Spirit of Chicano Park /

El espiritu del Parque Chicano

"We matter and will build our park if we have to do it ourselves!"

The community:

  • found their voice

  • took nonviolent protest

  • built a world famous park

  • now a U.S. National Landmark

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Net profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Chicano Park Steering Committee and the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center.

Bettie and Bonky discover a magical park located in a most peculiar place, under a bridge! They learn to love their new home in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood with a rich history in San Diego, California. Through the eyes of a mystical Señora they travel through a historical journey of a community’s struggle to build a park. They learn the true history of Chicano Park and the importance of finding their voice and taking action.

This historical fiction children's book tells the dynamic story of the people of Logan Heights and world famous Chicano Park. It is bilingual in English and Spanish and includes short biographies of several community champions.

The Spirit of Chicano Park / El espiritu del Parque Chicano depicts the historic takeover of a small piece of land located under the Coronado Bridge in San Diego, California. The historic neighborhood of Logan Heights/Barrio Logan, a predominately Chicano community in 1970, took their picks and shovels and built a community park in opposition to the destruction of their neighborhood by eminent domain. It is a story of redemption and strength of a community seeking survival. Chicano Park, with its massive internationally acclaimed murals and famous Kiosco stage, was listed as a U.S. National Landmark in 2016.

Special added features included in the backpages:

  • Historical Timeline

  • Interviews with community champions:

    • Organizing/Leadership: Tommie Camarillo and Josie Talamantez

    • Mural Artists: Guillermo Aranda, Victor Ochoa, and Patricia Aguayo

    • Danza Azteca: Dr. Mario Aguilar

    • Ballet Folklorico: Isabel Sanchez, Teresa E. Caballero and Nopani Hernandez

    • Musica: Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez

    • Brown Berets: David Rico

    • Low Riders: Rigo Reyes

Meet the author:

I have loved Chicano Park since the first time I stepped foot on this sacred land in 1979. After I learned about the struggle of the community to build a park, I knew that I would always be connected. Through my passion as an Azteca-Chichimeca danzante, I dance at the park and ask creator to bless each and every one of you. The community of Logan Heights is an inspiration for all–a vibrant example of resilience and self-determination. ¡Que viva Chicano Park!

-Beatrice Zamora-Aguilar

Meet the illustrator:

It's an honor and privilege to be able to do what I love for such an important part of our culture and community. I encourage everyone to stay connected to your roots, find your passion and never give up on what you believe in. Walk around the park and let the beautiful murals tell you the history of its struggles, victories and protectors. Let it remind you of the warrior you are meant to be...¡Sí Se Puede!

-Maira Meza

Coming soon 2020:

Huehue'Tocaitl: Traditional Names/Nombres Tradicionales

In modern Mestizo/Chicano culture, names are often given to children at various significant times in their lives. This book provides native names, primarily Nahuatl and other indigenous languages primarily from Mexico. Each definition includes the name as is used in its historical context.