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The first Mexicans to the region of North Central Washington were braceros (Mexican nationals) brought to Wenatchee, Okanogan, Moses Lake, and later Quincy to work under contract during World War II. The late 1940s witnessed the arrival to the region of Mexican American families who came from south Texas following migratory routes established in the 1920s to the Pacific Northwest. In the early 1950s, Mexican American families from the Yakima Valley moved north seeking economic opportunities. By the late 1980s, as Mexicans in such places as Wenatchee, Quincy, Brewster, and Moses Lake began to settle down and integrate into the community, they started businesses, bought homes, and many moved into a more diverse economic market.
About the Author
Born and raised in Quincy, Washington, author Jerry Garcia is now a professor of history and Chicano studies at Michigan State University. In this volume, he explores the rich history, customs, and contributions of Mexican communities in North Central Washington through photographs gleaned from family collections, university archives, newspapers, and local and regional museums. More than 200 images serve to challenge stereotypes and illustrate how Mexicans maintained customs and cultural ties to their homeland while building a new home in the Pacific Northwest.