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  • This is a photo of my niece, Akela.
  • Villegas

    1. 1.  In 1930 my grandparents, Antonio and Mary Villegas boarded a train headed for the United states.
    2. 2.  They continued by bus to Richmond, California.
    3. 3.  My Grandfather worked for the Santa Fe Railroad Company. My Grandmother worked for a short period of time in a bakery.  She was also a homemaker.
    4. 4.  As devout Catholics, they attended mass every Sunday morning.  This did not change due to geographic location. Religion was not a factor in their move. Religion did not affect employment . Food was affected, but only on Fridays.  Catholics are required to eat fish on Fridays during the 40 days before Easter Sunday, known as Lent.
    5. 5.  They continued to eat traditional Mexican foods as my family still does today.  Menudo  Tortilla soup  Beans  Rice  Tamales at Christmas time
    6. 6.  According to my father, my grandparents also enjoyed Chinese and American food.
    7. 7.  In 1956, they sent for my father , Raul Villegas. He made his way by train and by bus to Whittier, California.  He was 16 years old.  He was also required to attend mass on Sundays.
    8. 8.  He maintained his love for traditional Mexican music through the years.  Vicente Fernandez is a favorite.  Others include Pedro Infante, Luis Miguel, and Selena.
    9. 9.  He lived in Whittier until moving to East Los Angeles where he met my mother, Mary Ramos.  I was born in Whittier Presbyterian hospital many years later.
    10. 10.  My parents remained in East Los Angeles until 1987 when they moved my siblings and me to Chino, California.
    11. 11.  We kept up the tradition of staying awake until midnight on Christmas eve to open presents. We make tamales all morning, and enjoy them in the evening. We also sit around the Christmas tree and tell stories.
    12. 12.  Another Mexican tradition is Dia de los Muertos, which happens to be my birthday.  My family does not celebrate in a traditional sense, but we enjoy attending festivals and art exhibits in honor of Day of the Dead.
    13. 13.  We also enjoy festivals which showcase music and cars from my father’s era.
    14. 14.  In 2005, my parents decided to move to Texas with my three brothers.  Land was inexpensive and they were able to have a brand new home built.  My father always wanted to live in the country.  He had hoped that his daughters would follow him.
    15. 15. NOT A CHANCE!!!!! After five years, Raul and Mary along with two of their sons, returned to Chino, Californi a.