Yearners

In YEARNERS, Democratic party leaders invite wealthy Herson Moya to consider a run for Texas governor. But, as in life, Herson finds himself left with family members and friends to figure out how to campaign. Scenic visits to New York and Mexico, and in homes he owns in Texas and by the beautiful Pacific coast in Costa Rica, bring out how Latinos, Latinas, whites, and blacks see his prospect.

Herson’s problem is how best to use the $30 million he sets aside from his own money to run. Not interested in bashing competing candidates after the excesses of Trump, he challenges his advisory team to arrive at a better way to campaign.  Herson wants to highlight his views on immigration, education, prisons, guns, abortion, the economy, transportation, and the state’s environmental and infrastructure needs. He wants to champion good government again, a difficult task for a Mexican American, given what acquaintances and voters tell him when he visits the five regions of Texas. The ending brings together most of the characters in YEARNERS, a collection of more attractive characters than we have read about so far (for the consideration of film directors, producers, and screen writers looking for better, more realistic ways to represent U.S. Latinos).

YEARNERS shows, among a slew of other perspectives, why disenfranchised voters tend to ignore politicians who promise to promote the common good. YEARNERS offers a great read because it provides a new education!

A Mexican Revolution Photo History

In 1846, ten years after the Alamo, President James K. Polk and Congress declared war on Mexico. Following the two-year war, Mexicans progressively lost land and most of their liberties in a country that has since experienced widespread poverty, little public education, and lacks infrastructural amenities. In the early 1860s, France forced Mexico into another war to take advantage of Mexico’s rich resources. Porfirio Diaz emerged and dominated Mexico for more than forty years, eventually causing the Mexican people to become revolutionaries during the first decade of the 20th century. The Mexican Revolution is still impacting the U.S. and the rest of the world today.

Using original photographs taken by many Mexican and international hands during the conflagration and available in the public domain and in rare-book collections, Portales narrates the causes of the Mexican Revolution. What is different here is that Portales shows how the presidents and the leaders of the U.S. were involved. Instead of using the pictures of the revolution like other photographic books, this volume explains the alliances and deceptions, describing developments that followed, clarifying who did what to whom, and when, between 1906 and 1928. Full of great revelations!

Latino Sun, Rising

Latinos are now the largest minority population of the United States, forming a growing part of the middle and upcoming professional classes. In LATINO SUN, RISING, a Mexican American educator takes stock. Besides recording historic resistance and indifference, Portales shows how Latinos have progressively improved many areas of American life, raising a new sun missed by most Americans.

In classes at UT/Austin, at SUNY-Buffalo, on the beach in Corpus Christi, waiting tables during two summers in Chicago, living in London, teaching in the English Department of UC/Berkeley, and raising a family next to NASA in Houston, Portales’s life benchmarks the progress of Latinos. By vividly recreating the World War II generation of his parents and his own, Portales encourages readers to follow Latino advances from the days of his happy youth in Edinburg, Texas during the Eisenhower fifties to the unfurling of ethnic consciousness in American culture after the transformational sixties. LATINO SUN, RISING demonstrates generational progress that enhances all Americans.

Quality Education for Latinos and Latinas

As educators, researchers, and legislators debate how best to improve teaching at the schools, the vital relationship between teachers and students often gets lost. For Rita and Marco Portales, how a teacher interacts with every single student in a classroom from the first day is the central factor that determines whether a student will enjoy being educated or not. Too many Latino and Latina students in particular are frequently turned off early.  They face teacher biases and racism or its vestiges due to inadequate English-language skills and cultural prejudices.. Classroom teachers and administrators often ignore, downplay, or fail to address cultural differences that need attention, and education schools and programs at our universities have not helped.

http://www.robertleos.com/Portales.pdf

Shunning trendy education theories and practices that change every 3 to 5 years, QUALITY EDUCATION zeroes in on how teachers and students actually interact on a daily basis inside and outside of the classroom. To reduce and to eliminate serious barriers, and especially to help Latino and Latina students acquire a quality education, the Portaleses show why a good teacher-student relationship is essential in the education of every student. Teachers and students need to begin by respecting each other, not by subjecting each other to traumatic incidents.

In the second part of this book, Rita and Marco Portales recommend strengthening the print and oral skills of ALL students, starting in kindergarten and in every course in college. A quality education that leads to success in life depends on writing and excellent oral communication skills, regardless of professional arenas. When educated as the Portaleses propose, students will be transformed into confident adults that all kinds of employers want, hire, and endeavor to keep.

Crowding Out Latinos

Marco Portales singles out the “public consciousness” of the United States to demonstrate how Latinos and Latinas are often represented as undesirables even though most Spanish-speakers seek inclusion. Despite the best efforts of many Latinos, especially Mexican Americans, this study examines the ways in which education and the media often immobilize Latinos and Latinas, shaping and keeping them in their place, and discouraging them from advancing today.

Portales analyzes contemporary portrayals of Latinos and Latinas in the media, in representations in Hollywood movies, in American and Ethnic Literature, and in his life and work in Texas, New York, and California.  By examining books by Americo Paredes, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and the famous Hollywood actor Anthony Quinn, he calls on readers to change the perception that Latinos are second-class citizens of the United States.  This book was published 17 years before Trump became president, but it shows why Latinos are still being elbowed out of American life!