El Mercado de Guadalupe, Source: www.guadalupeaz.org
Guadalupe is a town that consists of one square mile of land founded by the Yaqui Indians, located east of Phoenix and south of Tempe at the base of South Mountain. Guadalupe was incorporated in 1975, after the Yaqui Indians used the land as a refuge while working on the Salt River Canal to the east. After battles and wars over land in Sonora, Mexico with Spain and Mexico, the Yaqui tribe was exiled South to the jungles of Yucatan. They then teamed up with Pancho Villa, a famous revolutionary leader during the Mexican-Spanish War, and when his army was defeated the Yaquis headed north to the US for safety, where white Americans were sympathetic to their plight, and thus the Town of Guadalupe was born. Since then, Guadalupe has upheld a strong ethnic identity with the incorporation of Hispanic race and culture.
We chose Guadalupe because of the small area of land given to the Yaqui Indians an Hispanics that have settled there, as well as the low-income and poor housing that the population suffers from. As we explored Guadalupe, we noticed that most of the town consisted of shacks as houses and dirty, unlivable conditions by American standards. Since Guadalupe is populated by Native Americans and Hispanics, there is a stigma that goes along with the race because of where they live. This is completely out of the control of the racial groups that live there. We believe this is an example of environmental racism because not only is the environment not ideal because of the poverty that run rampant through Guadalupe, but also because the town has a rich history, the people there either do not want to leave due to those strong cultural ties, or can’t because of financial restraints.
The culture that is alive in Guadalupe is Hispanic and the racism that is alive if against tha very culture. If a white person from the richer areas of Arizona took a walk through Guadalupe, there would be many looks of horror or disgust at how the population is forced to live; in poverty.
- Allie Desrochers, Jake Powell, and Bill Harden
Barraza, Eduardo. The head of Pancho Villa. Retrieved from: www.barriozona.com.
Erickson, Kirstin C. (2008). Yaqui homeland and homeplace: The everyday production of ethnic identity. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.
Glaser, Leah S. (1996). The story of Guadalupe, Arizona: The survival and preservation of a Yaqui community. Arizona State University, Thesis.