Mexico City–(Hispanic PR Wire)–Feb. 11, 2003–On February 13, 2003 the California Association for Bilingual Educators (CABE) will celebrate its 28th Annual Conference to be held in Los Angeles, California Convention Center. In this particular occasion, CABE will recognize Graciela Orozco, who has deserved the CABE Board Award for International Advocacy for her persistent work in favor of the education of the Mexican and Mexican-American children in the United States.

This is the first time that CABE recognizes the effort of a Mexican, a woman who has dedicated great part of her professional life to promote a bi-national collaboration in order to guarantee the educative needs of the Mexican and Mexican-American children, as well as to improve a total respect of their original culture in the United States.

As a pioneer in the study and the relation with the Mexican, Mexican-American and Latino communities in the United States, Graciela Orozco has been impelling for thirty years diverse programs of collaboration directed to this enormous community of 37 million people, where 23 million are Mexican or have a Mexican origin.

In 1970 Graciela Orozco worked at the Mexican President Bureau, where she actively supported The Aztlán Scholarships Program that brought hundreds of Mexican-Americans to study in Mexican universities. In the mid 70s, she was in charge of the first bilingual (Spanish-English) programs of education in the United States, where she developed seminaries directed to American teachers in order to get them into the Mexican methodologies of education, as well as to understand some historical and cultural aspects of their Mexican students. She made possible the first exchange program of Mexican teachers with Los Angeles Unified Scholar District and with some Chicago public schools. She has carried out diverse programs supporting schools in the United States with a large concentration of Mexican children. She also promoted collaboration in the educative field while she was working for the Mexican Communities Abroad Program at the Foreign Relations Ministry (1990-1993). Since 1994, Graciela Orozco is the executive director of the Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation, a bi-national, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that was founded by her along with a prominent group of Mexican-American leaders, distinguished academic and experts from both countries.

“Mexico and the United States share an enormous responsibility in the educative field, where millions of Mexican migrant and Mexican-American children attend American schools. Unifying efforts from both countries is essential in order to get a proper education to this particular community, where motivation and self-esteem is highly necessary to achieve academic success” – Orozco’s said. Among her publications we find: Mexicans in the United States, The Mexican-Americans, Hispanic and Mexican Organizations in the United States, as well as different articles and essays that approach diverse subjects based on that community, “who represent a strategic importance for Mexico”.

The Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation constantly works in the education scope and has focused its efforts in contributing to the formation of bilingual-bicultural teachers. The Alianza Project, combines collaboration among 8 southwestern American universities, the Intercultural Research Association (IDRA) and several Mexican schools for teachers (escuelas normales) ; this project has rescued the talent and professional capacity of almost 300 Mexican teachers (normalistas) ,legally residents in the United States, who used to work as truck drivers or even as farm workers (piscadores), but now they have been certified by the American Educative System as bilingual teachers.

Dr. Maria Quezada, a Mexican-American who was born in Jalisco, Mexico heads The California Association for Bilingual Educators. CABE has over seven thousand affiliated members and will get together approximately eight thousand state and federal educators, publishers, civil employees, as well as Hispanic leaders in its 28th Annual conference to be held in Los Angeles. The objective of this Conference is to analyze educative problems faced by the population which their mother tongue is not English. It is also important to notice that the Hispanic children at elementary education represent around 17% of the total matriculation, and in those states with high concentration of Hispanic or Latin population they reach to 25% and up. Therefore, it is expected that the Mexican-American children educative situation will be a priority in these discussions.



Fundación Solidaridad Mexicano Americana, A.C.

Salvador Ramirez, Tel. (011) (+52) (55) 5658.4333