At a time when challenges to immigration and diversity dominate much of our public discourse, acknowledging and preserving the historical legacy of Latinos in Washington is more important than ever. That’s why we’re proud to announce completion of our 2018-19 Seattle Area Latino Heritage Survey.

Under the direction of the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and with funding from the National Park Service, Washington Trust staff have been working for the past year to uncover and celebrate sites that tell the history of the Latino community in the Seattle area. One project focus documented the migration of descendants of Mexican-American migrant families from the Yakima Valley to the Seattle area in the 1960s and 1970s. Additional areas of focus included early Latino entrepreneurs in the Seattle area, the rise of the Chicano movement at the University of Washington, and the founding of social/health service organizations such as El Centro de la Raza and Sea Mar Community Health Centers.

Altogether, the project identified and documented 21 places of cultural and historic significance, ranging from Burien to North Seattle. Two of the sites, the Picardo-Arreguin House and Chief Sealth International High School, were selected for further study and nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. As a part of the survey, project staff recorded oral history interviews with eight members of the region’s Latino community, so that the personal histories and rich experiences of these representatives of the Latino community can provide a means for future generations to learn about the impact of Latinos on our state’s heritage.

The Washington Trust invites members of the public to come and hear these stories recounted firsthand on May 23 from 6:00 to 7:00pm at Casa Latina (317 17th Ave S, Seattle). A panel of project participants including Estela Ortega, Maria Ivarra, and Anita Morales will share personal stories and reflections on the Latino experience in the Seattle area. Refreshments will be provided.

If you are unable to attend but would like more information, please contact Julianne Patterson at the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation at (206) 535-1044 or jpatterson@preservewa.org or Susan Johnson at Artifacts Consulting at (253) 219-9599 or Susan@artifacts-inc.com.

The 2018-2019 Latino Heritage Survey is a collaboration between the National Park Service, the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Artifacts Consulting, Dr. Erasmo Gamboa of the University of Washington, and Sea Mar.