Two commemorations of the Maestas Case this week
THE Maestas Case, one of the nation’s first civil rights cases, will be celebrated at Adams State University and at the Colorado State Capitol.
On Tuesday, April 12 at Adams State, retired judge Martin Gonzales will speak about the historical background after the unveiling of the bronze relief “Cruzando Los Traques,” which commemorates the case. An unveiling of the monument will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in McDaniel Hall, northwest entrance. The presentation by the Honorable Martin Gonzales will follow in McDaniel Hall room 101. The free presentation is part of the Adams100 Speaker Series, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of Adams State.
Depicting two young children on their way to school, the bronze piece was created by Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera of New Mexico. The relief will find a temporary home on the Adams State University campus in McDaniel Hall, and will be permanently installed in the Alamosa County Courthouse in October 2022.
On Thursday, April 14, in Denver, The Maestas Case Commemoration Committee will unveil a sculpture of “Cruzando Los Traques (Vias)” at 1 p.m. on the ground floor of the Colorado State Capitol. Colorado senators Cleave Simpson and Robert Rodriguez and Colorado representatives Donald Valdez and Alex Valdez will deliver a joint tribute in chambers.
The traveling art history exhibit will remain at the Capitol for the remainder of the legislative session before traveling to other Colorado and New Mexico locations. The exhibit tour culminates with a celebratory event honoring the Maestas Case in Alamosa on October 8th, 2022.
From 1912 until 1914, Francisco Maestas and other Hispanic parents challenged the Alamosa School District to allow students to attend the school of their choice. At the time, the district had two schools: one for English speakers and the other for the children of Spanish-speaking families. Although the Maestas children spoke English they were denied access to the school closest to their home. The families eventually took their case to court and District Court Judge Charles Holbrook ruled in favor of Francisco Maestas.
For more information about the Maestas Case, visit maestascase.com.