Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Many of these oral histories connect to a collaborative project by St. Mary’s University and the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders. These interviews were collected as part of the Latino Community Development: Histories of Economic and Social Justice project. Each story has a link that will you take to the site to view and listen to each interview. You can learn more about the project here.

Mario Compean (2020)

Mario Compean is one of the founding members of the Mexican American Unity Council in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Compean shares how he and colleagues Juan Patlan and Willie Velasquez worked to transform their cause from direct, radical activism into a structured non-profit organization to serve the Westside community of San Antonio. Visit the project here.

Dr. Charles Cotrell (2020)

Dr. Charles Cotrell is a former political science professor and President of St. Mary’s University. Dr. Cotrell played a significant role in the establishment of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), a Chicano activist youth group that advocated for better education and public services in the Westside throughout the late 1960s. Visit the project here.

Michael A. García (2020)

Michael A. García is a retired architect and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. García was recruited to work with the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC) to develop social and housing programs in San Antonio’s Westside. Visit the project here

Valdemar Pérez (2020)

Valdemar Pérez is an Army veteran and accounting graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Pérez worked for the Mexican American Unity Council. In this interview, Valdemar reflects on his experiences growing up as a Latino in San Antonio, his educational background, his early career, and how he came into his position at MAUC building a model of community development on the Westside of San Antonio. Visit the project here.