Latino Americans: 500 Years of History

Watsonville Public Library invites the public to free screenings and displays of Latino Americans: 500 Years of History.

Watsonville Public Library has been selected to receive a competitive Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).

The library received the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The award-winning series chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day. (Learn more about the series at

Planned film screenings and displays at the Watsonville Public Library will include:

            War and Peace (1942-1954) – A film about the role of Latino Americans in WWII and the fight for equality on the home front. Discussion facilitated by Dr. Adrian Felix, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at UCSC will be held on Wednesday, March 2 at 6:00 pm.

            Peril and Promise (1980-2000) – A film about the spread of Latino American culture across the USA in the late 20th century. Discussion facilitated by UCSC professor Dr. Adrian Felix. The library will also showcase DigitalNest Student Films – a series of short films sharing the stories of local Latino Americans in the Pajaro Valley on Saturday, March 5 at 4:00 pm.

            Latinos in the Pajaro Valley: Stories and Memories Come visit the library during the month of March to view a display of stories shared by local Latinos of family life, migration, and living in the Pajaro Valley.

“Latino Americans are the country’s largest minority group, with more than 50 million people, and still many people are unaware of their rich and varied history and culture,” said MariaElena Olmedo, Outreach Services Librarian. “I’m thrilled that Watsonville Public Library has the opportunity to explore this topic in our community.”

For a schedule of events, visit or contact MariaElena Olmedo @ (831) 768-3415 or email at Watsonville Public Library is located at 275 Main Street, Suite 100, Watsonville, CA 95076.

The Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grantees represent 42 states and the District of Columbia, and include 78 public libraries, 68 college/university libraries and organizations, 19 community college libraries, 10 state humanities councils, 12 museums and a range of other nonprofit organizations.

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.



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