Students and Faculty Tour Chicano Park
Students who are enrolled in the "Introduction to Multi-cultural Education" class in the College of Education at SDSU are treated to an amazing resource in San Diego, in the neighborhood called Barrio Logan. These resources are the murals of Chicano Park. They are testament to the generations of Mexican Americans who were among the original residents of the City of San Diego. The very founding of Chicano Park came about from the community organizing itself after freeways cut through the neighborhood displacing 3000 homes and businesses. In addition, the City had zoned the area for junk yards, resulting in toxic and dangerous industrial waste being placed next to homes and schools.
The murals in the park, painted on the supports that hold up the Coronado Bridge, depict the day in April of 1970 when the community occupied the area and started preparing it to become a park. Others refer to the collective action taken by the community to get the City to change the zoning back to reflect the residential nature of the area. Many of the murals refer to Mexican and Latin American history and mythology including celebrating the famous Mexican muralists Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros as well as Frida Kahlo whose works inspired the early 1970s Chicano and Chicana artists in their work in Chicano Park. The ceiling of thekiosko that serves as a stage for the many events celebrated in the park each year is a scene from the Aztec founding of Tenochtitlan the metropolis that thrived in the area that is Mexico City today. It shows the eagle, snake and cactus, the symbol that is in the center of the Mexican national flag.
The tours conducted by College of Education faculty connect the student teachers with the history of the community from which many of their students will have come and the contextualized learning that comes from - and can be expressed by - the art forms that come from the Chicano and Chicana students themselves.