On Thursday, May 3, 2019, our Race & Oral History class took a trip to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan, San Diego. Beneath the on-ramp to the Coronado Bridge, Chicano Park is a hidden gem of San Diego with a rich history intertwined with the Mexican-American and Chicano communities of the barrio. This was my fourth time to Chicano Park, but every single time I return, I find even more beautiful murals, hear new stories, and see the developing impacts of gentrification.
Prof. Luis Alvarez from the UCSD History Department gave us a brief lecture on the history of Chicano Park. The land that Chicano Park sits on was previously designated to be a California Highway Patrol station. However, members of the Barrio Logan community didn’t want more police in their neighborhood, so they protested day after day chanting sayings like “Hasta la bahía” (All the way to the bay!)
This time visiting the park, I was drawn to several of the murals that depicted female figures. The picture above of woman holding a rifle, in my eyes, honors the spirit and strength of militant women throughout Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicana history. Below is a picture of various women and what appears to be a water spirit. At the bottom, a woman is holding a jug of water in front of a sign that reads, “El Agua es Sagrada. El Agua es La Vida” (Water is sacred. Water is life.)