West Side

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Series of interviews with Kansas City, Kansas residents of Mexican descent about the aftermath of the 1951 Flood. Topics discussed include the impact on the community as many residents moved away permanently from the KCK neighborhoods, the loss of local employers, rebuilding homes and businesses, assistance from governmental and community resources, and how community members stayed in touch afterwards, including the 1951 Flood reunion committee. Irene Gonzalez shares the story of meeting her husband, musician Lupe Gonzalez, at her quinceañera, and John Mendez discusses furthering his education and his involvement in Wyandotte County politics and development.

Video Recording

Interview with former Missouri state representative Paul Rojas about his experience with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. He recalls the need of Hispanic businesses to be able to access bank loans, insurance, and opportunities for state contracts, and that the local chamber led to the formation of a United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce a few years later. He discusses the chamber's role in increasing Hispanic visibility in local governance, their growing political astuteness and advocacy, and linking the business community and social services.

Video Recording

Interview with Valerie Coyazo about her experience with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. She discusses joining the chamber while working at AT&T, and joining the board and later being elected chairperson while working for Aquila. She discusses the origins of KC BizFest, the youth entrepreneurship program Latinos of Tomorrow, and other organizations and events aimed at job placement and advancement for young Latinos.

Video Recording

Series of interviews with Kansas City, Kansas residents of Mexican descent about the 1951 Flood and its aftermath. Interview subjects recall having little time to save items from their homes or escape the flood waters, losing houses and businesses, taking refuge in locations including including Memorial Hall, Riverview School and with families in Kansas City, Missouri's West Side neighborhood, the wreckage that was left behind after water receded, and families choosing to rebuild in Kansas or permanently moving to Missouri.

Video Recording

Interview with Taqueria Mexico owner Arturo Romo about his experience with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. He recalls moving to Kansas City in 1992, opening his restaurant in 1993 with the assistance of Hector Barreto, Sr., becoming a member of the chamber a few years later, and being invited to join the board of directors. He discusses the social and banking connections he was able to make through the chamber, expanding to new locations, and bringing his family to join him in Kansas City.

Video Recording

Interview with Jessie Garcia Nieto about her parents' immigration to Kansas City from Mexico via Texas, attending Our Lady of Guadalupe and Manual High schools, her sister and cousins' work in the local garment industry, life in the Westside neighborhood, and her experiences working and raising a family. She also shares memories of Ralph Sifuentes and the accomplishments of her children.

Video Recording

Interview with Dos Mundos newspaper founder Clara Reyes about her life and her experience with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. She recalls immigrating to the Kansas City area from Guadalajara, Mexico, to join family, her work in dentistry and real estate, being the niece of Hector Barreto, founder of the local and national Hispanic chambers of commerce. She discusses Barreto's interest in advocating for the Hispanic business community, early members of the chamber, covering chamber activities in Dos Mundos, and Rockhurst and Penn Valley colleges working with the chamber to offer scholarships to minority students. She also discusses Barreto's role in the founding of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, originally located in Kansas City, and its move to Washington, DC, the local chamber's role in helping small businesses access bank loans and encouraging entrepreneurship, and lists the Kansas City chamber's presidents from its founding to the present.

Video Recording

Interview with Mary Barreto about her life and her husband Hector Barreto, founder of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and president of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Born in 1935, Barreto recounts her father's immigration from Michoacan, Mexico to the Kansas City area in 1928, and his work for the Missouri Portland Cement Company, where Mary's family met the Barretos. She recalls stories of Hector's work in packing houses and the railroad, opening an import business, and owning and operating Mexico Lindo restaurant in Independence. She also discusses Hector's role in founding the United States and Kansas City Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, noting other Hispanic Kansas Citians who were involved in the local chamber, and Hector's experience advising the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. Hector and Mary's daughter Anna Favrow Barreto also participates in the discussion.

Video Recording

Series of interviews with Kansas City, Kansas residents of Mexican descent about daily life and the predominantly Mexican-American neighborhoods of Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas. Topics discussed include railroad, ice house, and packinghouse jobs, family life, cooking, community events and fiestas, Mexican-American baseball teams, small businesses, and encountering segregation and discrimination. Interview subjects also share stories about service in World War II, tension between speaking English and Spanish, and playing in local bands and orchestras.

Video Recording

Interview with Estella Morales about her life and her experience with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. She recounts getting involved with the chamber in the late 1980s as a liaison from City Hall, and was later elected to the board. She describes the chamber at that point as being mostly a social and promotional club that continued to grow in its outreach and business development efforts over the years, and their success in getting the greater business community to recognize what the value of the local Hispanic community. She recalls the work of leaders including CiCi Rojas, Miguel Meneses, and Charles Delgado, shares memories of Hector Barreto and his work with the local and national Hispanic chambers, and describes chamber programs including KC BizFest and Latinos of Tomorrow and the increasing role of women in the organization.

Video Recording