History is in Your Hands Nov 18th meeting to plan for April exhibit
Mary Carrillo Carmona is a longtime resident of Indio. In April of 2007 she participated in the Coachella Valley Museum and Community Center’s First Annual Mexican American Pioneer Exhibit. Along with several members of other pioneer families Carmona pasted photos of her father’s restaurant, the El Charro Cafe, on a display board and lovingly put a menu, family letters, and certificates into a binder. Her exhibit, along with the exhibits of twelve other families, was displayed at the museum in April of 2007 and the following year nearly 20 families participated. The exhibits also included a tribute Mexican American Veterans from the pioneer families, totaling nearly 100 in 2008 along.
Mrs. Carmona taught visitors how to make her famous chili rellenos at one of the various cooking demonstrations held during the exhibit’s run. Other special events included local school children’s ballet folklorico and mariachi performances along with lectures on the history of Mexico and Vaqueros.
After the exhibit’s run Mary Carrillo Carmona met with museum personnel to complete an oral history. Discussing their childhood, education, family history, and culture, Carmona and the other participants were digitally recorded and their interviews were placed in the museum archives for future generations.
Mrs. Carmona discussed her involvement with the project. “The project on our Mexican Heritage opened my eyes to the pioneers that settled here in the valley. Some of us had forgotten our background and this project took us back to our past with other families we had grown up with.” Carmona went on to say “We bonded together and renewed friendships that had been lost through the years.”
The Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center has a unique approach to history. The community itself gets to define and share important themes, experiences, and events of the Coachella Valley through it’s participation in the Mexican American Pioneer Project. Currently the museum is looking for new participants. If you are of Mexican descent and your family came to the Coachella Valley prior to 1950 we’d like for you to participate in the April 2009 exhibit. Please attend our next planning meeting on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 6pm at the Museum. The Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center is located on the corner of Miles and Deglet Noor in Indio. For more information please email Project Director, Sarah McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave her a message at the museum: (760) 342-6651.