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Casares, Arturo (1943-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Casares, Arturo (1943-)

Historical Note:

Born in 1943, Arturo Casares grew up in Del Rio, Texas, where he attended a segregated school. Casares moved to Long Beach, CA in 1960.  He finished high school and married at the age of 19.  He then attended Long Beach City College.  He received an Associate's degree in Liberal Studies and transferred to San Diego State College in 1968.  At SDSC, Casares majored in Spanish and minored in History.  Later, Casares received a Master's from the University of New Mexico in Counseling.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Casares became active in the Mexican American Youth Association (MAYA), an activist Chicano group, and later in the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA).  In addition, Casares worked as a teacher's aide at Logan Elementary school and San Diego High School.  Working at these schools once again exposed Casares to gang activities and the limited scholastic resources associated with impoverished neighborhoods.  As a result, he founded Barrio Station, an outreach center for low-income Mexican-American families, which still exists today.  The Station offers tutoring, recreational activities, and services for at-risk youth.

In addition, Casares began attending student conferences to discuss the implementation of El Plan de Santa Barabara, which sought to establish Chicano and Mexican-American studies programs at the university level.  He also became active in the free speech and Chicano movements, supporting Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers (UFW) strikes and protests.  He was also Vice Chairman of the Chicano Federation. In April of 1971, Casares and two other men, David Llamas Jose Benavides, were arrested at the first anniversary celebration of Chicano Park for obstructing a police officer.  The event became known as the "Chicano Park Incident."

Today, Casares continues his community work.

Note Author: Amanda Lanthorne

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