Los Repatriados
Los Repatriados > About Us
This site was completed on Dec. 14, 2007 by the following students for
AC 213 Introduction to Latino/a Studies conducted by Professor Maria Cotera Fall 2007.

Adonia Arteaga
I am currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Latino Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies. I have earned my Associate Degree in Graphic Design from Washtenaw Community College where I also served as Vice President for the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
My interest in Latino studies stems from my desire to learn more about the history and culture of a growing minority population that I am a part of, but feel I know very little about. I believe that in educating myself about the history of Latinos I will be better equipped to develop solutions to the struggles that we face. My focus of interest is on education, with a specific intent to increase the percentage of Latino youth graduating from college.
In addition to school I also work part-time at a bookstore and the Language Resource Center at UofM. I am active in a feminist focused campus group and the Latino Students Organization. I also volunteer for Relay for Life and the Hispanic Technology and Community Center in my home town of Flint, Mi. I chose to participate in the project about repatriation because it is a little known historical event that still has specific relevance to the immigration issues that Latinos are facing today.

Nicole Cervantes
I have been raised in two cultures one being Mexican and the other American.  My father is Mexican-American and my mother is of European descent.  I was born in Indianapolis, IN but grew up in Ferndale, MI just north of Detroit.  I am a student at the University of Michigan and will be graduating in April of 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and Spanish at the age of 22.  As a pre-medical student also, I will be applying to medical schools across the country in the year to come.  Currently, I am a coordinator for the fundraising committee of a non-profit student run organization called Camp Kesem.  My tasks include holding fundraising events to raise $20,000 dollars to make a week long overnight summer camp possible for children who have a parent that has been affected by cancer.  I am also a coordinator for Honduras Medical Brigade.  We recruit a group of students and medical professionals to travel to Honduras every summer, in collaboration with Sociedad Amigos de los Niños, a Honduran charity group.  We set up temporary clinics in remote villages of the country and provide free healthcare to the people there.  As students, our goal is to collect donations including medical supplies and medications to take to Honduras.
My involvement with the Repatriados Project has opened my eyes to history more so than ever.  Although I am earning a degree in Latin American and Caribbean history and literature, I had not known of the history of Mexican repatriation.  I have learned that we can never stop learning or obtaining knowledge.  There are many things in history that have yet come to light and it is up to us to find it and learn from it.  By taking part in American Culture 213 – Introduction to Latina/o Studies - with Professor Cotera, Sarah Gould and their guest lecturers I have found myself asking questions of how and why things happen.  How does it relate to me? Why does it affect me and should it? Can I make a change? Many more questions come to mind, but I believe the only way to find an answer or to better understand an issue is to first educate one’s self.  I am happy to say that AC213 has taught me to do just that, explore, analyze, learn and teach.
Brittani Hernandez
I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas.  My father is Mexican-American and my mother was born in England. In spite of the different backgrounds that my parents came from, I was able to embrace both cultures, as well as find my own identity. I have enjoyed learning about both and until I came to Michigan I didn’t understand the true benefit of how having exposure both cultures is very beneficial.
In the spring of 2009 I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in History. I have a particular interest in the political participation and influence that Latinos have in American politics. Additionally, I am planning on applying to law school after a few years of working in order to gain a better insight as to what I would like to pursue as in my law endeavors.
My involvement on campus here at the University of Michigan is what keeps me going and acts as a motivator to learn more about anything and everything. For the past year I have been a member of the executive board for my sorority, Delta Gamma, serving as the Vice President Panhellenic Association Delegate. I was recently elected to, and will fulfill for the 2008 year, the position of Executive Vice President for the Panhellenic Association, which oversees the 2000+ sorority members on the UofM campus.  Additionally, I am serving as the Outreach Chair for the College Republicans-Michigan Chapter.
I became involved with the Repatriados Project through the opportunity given by my professor, Professor Maria Cotera, for a website project in the American Culture: Introduction to Latina/o Studies class. I took the class initially in order to gain a better understanding about the Latinos in the U.S. and abroad.  I was taken by surprise when I realized that there is not only tons of history about Latinos in the U.S., but there is history about Latinos that has been unspoken for decades. I chose the Repatriados Project because I wanted to learn more about this hidden history and try to play a role in exposing it.  This class has been informative yet very interesting at the same time.  I would advise anyone who has not been exposed to Latina/o Studies should use this class as a starting point.
Viviana Lopez
My name is Viviana Lopez. I was born in Jalisco, Mexico and was raised in Southwest Detroit. After finishing high school at Cass Technical H.S, I moved on to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I am currently in my second year at the university as a pre-Architecture student. Currently I am involved with the AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students).
I had a strong desire to take a Latino Studies class; since I was raised in the U.S, I was not aware of the Latina/o history. This was a class where I could learn more about myself and my own past.  I chose the Repatriation Project, because unlike the other options it was a website that would actually be used as a resource. Before initiating the project, I did not know what repatriation meant, but now I believe that it is an important part of the Mexican history.

Efraín A. Merchán
I graduated from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan. I am originally from Bogota, Colombia, where my parents are also from. In the University of Michigan I am a sophomore and plan on pursuing a double major in Economics and either Latino Studies or Latin-American & Caribbean Studies. I have been part of the Lloyd Scholars Program that focuses on arts and writing, ALMA (Assisting Latinos Maximize Achievement), the Latino Student Organization, RELATE, and M-Run. I also work part-time at a local coffee shop on campus.
The main reason why I took Latino/a Studies class is the same reason why I did this program—I wanted to become more acquainted with the history of Latinos in the US and explore the field of Latino/a Studies. I also had met Professor Cotera before becoming a student at the University of Michigan and had been looking forward to being in her classes. One thing that really drew me to do this project was the potential that I saw in it since we were working with an established non-profit organization and also the fact that the issue of Mexican Repatriation has been a huge issue in Detroit, Michigan, which is relatively close from where I live now. I hope this project helps us get the word out about the repatriation campaigns and also to collect these untold histories. Ultimately our goal as a group is for us—and hopefully many others through website we have created and the organizations it represents—to help uncover this part of history that is not in any of our textbooks and prevent this from happening in the present and in the future.

Emelia Mondragon
Born in California and raised in Southwest Detroit, I am a first generation, 4th year senior at the University of Michigan.  My father is from Michoacan, Mexico and my mother is from San Antonio, Texas.  As a Latina going into the sciences, I look forward to graduating with a Bachelor's in Biological Anthropology and a Spanish minor.
For the past two and a half years, I have been working closely with Dr. Liliana Cortes-Ortiz as a research assistant on the Genetic Variation of Meso-American Primates.  When I'm not in the lab or class, I waitress at a local restaurant on Main St.  I am also a proud member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc.
Before Introduction to Latino Studies, I was completely unfamiliar with courses outside the science curriculum.  One of my main reasons to take this course was because I wanted to finally become educated in my own history.  I never realized how many Latinos, including myself, are not aware of where we come from, why we are here, and how exactly we have influenced the environment around us.  Frustrated at my unconsciousness, I committed myself to a project that would expose a piece of American history that has not been universally recognized.  I have to admit out of all the classes I have taken here at the University, this one has been the most satisfying.

Maria E. Cotera Ph.D.
Jointly appointed Assistant Professor in American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Click here to read an interview with Profesor Cotera.

Special thanks go to Elena Herrada and Professor Maria Cotera for providing the basis of Repatriation Studies for this project. Without the guidance of Professor Maria Cotera and the cooperation from Elena Herrada, this project would have never been accomplished. This project was also in conjunction with the American Cultures class: Intro to Latina/o Studies (AC213, Fall 2007, taught by Professor Cotera). 
The historical summaries throughout the bulk of this website give acknowledgement to the book, Decade of Betrayal by Francisco Balderrama. (Balderrama, Francisco E., and Raymond Rodriguez. Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s. Revised ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.)