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The Kansan
March 8, 1990
by Carmen Cardinal

The Kansas City, Kan. Ethnic Council is trying to compile a history of early Mexican settlers in KCK.

Roberto Marin, the owner of La Fiesta Restaurant, is heading the project to chronicle the arrival of the Mexican people.

"Mexicans came to this area in waves," said Marin.

"The first wave was in the late 1880s when some of the earliest settlers came with the advent of the railroad. Many of the early settlers made the Turner area their home. In 1910 to 1920, the crisis of the Mexican Revolution brought another wave of settlers," said Marin. "In 1920 to '38, there was a crisis caused by the persecution of the Catholic church as the government tried to separate state and church. Many of the Mexicans who came at that time were the 'elites,' who loved their country and wanted to retain their culture. One such elite was SATURNINO ALVARADO, who sued the board of education to allow Mexican youths to attend Argentine High School. Those Mexicans were people who opened doors, introduced their culture and music and established a presence and made contributions to the development of this city," said Marin. "In 1930, the first Mexican students graduated from Argentine High School."

Many cultural events have taken place over the years in Shawnee Park, in Argentine, Rosedale, and in the Missouri Westside.

Marin invites the Mexican community in this historical project to document the contributions and events of the Mexican community.

Anyone with photos or information about the family histories of early KCK Mexican can reach Marin at La Fiesta Restaurant, 831-9044.