The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Fall 1972, Volume 18, Number 4
James E. Moss, Editor
This three-paneled mural in Montezuma Hall at the Aztec Center, California State University, San Diego, depicts the Chicano’s painful history. The artist, Gilberto Ramirez, who lives in Mexico, was assisted by artists Ruben DeAnda and Guillermo Aranda. Description of the mural is provided by the Associated Students Organization at the Aztec Center.
“The culture of the people of the sun is destroyed; its sun descends; Coatlicue, she of the serpent skirt, mother of the cultures, from the depth of the centuries contemplates its own destruction; El Tzompantli, its tzompantli will no longer be large enough to honor its dead; The Landscape, symbolized by pyramids and volcanic cones, trepid because of the thundering clash and mixture of two temperaments — the strength and chivalry of the Spaniard, the sensibility and mysticism of the Indian; the Mestizo is born, fruit of violence and pain, his face reflects the pain of his birth, sanctified by religion, half sword half cross.”
“With its independence recently acquired from Europe, Mexico suffers a new strike, this time it’s his powerful neighbor in America who delivers this homicidal strike, the country is divided. The children of the sun look at their father in vain; The Mexican cries the separation of his brothers who were left on the other side of the border, but united in sentiment, symbolized by the hearts; El Chicano without language, prisoner of a system based upon the sacrifice of peoples, also cries, and there begins to germinate in him the idea of social justice and fraternity among all peoples of the world.”
“Night ends, the new days is here, is beginning now; all the young of the world symbolized by one couple in which the new life germinates to form the new race, they make the new day; with the destruction of the machineman, of the robot, and of all the absurd systems based upon the sacrifice of men, the new day begins, the new day of fraternity among all peoples of the world, the world that all the young united as one must build.”
Illustrations courtesy of the Associated Students Organization, California State University, San Diego.
Back to the article: A Chicano Perspective on San Diego History