THE Maestas Case Commemoration Committee will hold a formal community dedication of a bronze relief into the Alamosa County Justice Center on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 4:30 p.m. This will be followed by a ticketed event including notable speakers, local performers and traditional southern Colorado dinner at the Alamosa Armory at 6 p.m.
The dedication and celebration will honor the 1914 court ruling that desegregated schools in Alamosa. This is believed to be the first educational desegregation case won involving Mexican Americans in the United States.
Gonzales heads the Maestas Case Commemoration Committee, whose goal is to spread greater awareness about the case and history. The committee commissioned a bronze relief titled “Cruzando Los Traques (Vías)” by artist Renaldo “Sonny” Rivera. The statue was donated by longtime Valley residents and avid supporters of education LeRoy and Rosalie Martinez. The statue was first unveiled at Adams State University with a free community presentation by Judge Gonzales. The committee has received a Colorado State Resolution acknowledging the case, and has installed a traveling version of the sculpture at the Colorado State Capitol building where a bipartisan Colorado State Joint Tribute honored the case. The traveling exhibit is currently at the El Pueblo History Museum and will continue to tour museums and universities across the state.
The committee has also been able to create videos on the subject with the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, Rocky Mountain PBS and had a feature article by NBC Latino. The artistic collage about the case made it into the top 10 final for the 2022 design competition put on by The Friends of the National American Latino Museum.
The committee hopes to share with the state, the country and the world the story of the incredible people, resiliency and sense of community that stems from the Hispano homeland of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.