Student Curated Biographies | Chicana por mi Raza

Student Curated Biographies

CPMR relies on the brilliance and motivation of many dedicated undergraduate students to preserve, identify, and create new content related to our holdings. These biographies reflect over 5 years' work by students whom have participated via classes, independent studies, and research seminars. Students are entirely responsible for the creation of these biographies and each biography is an ever-expanding, previously unavailable record of knowledge. Please contact us at with any concerns or updates to the information displayed here.

Sonia Lopez “My whole life was around my politics, my schoolwork and being a student was secondary.”

Sonia Lopez was born in Sonora, Mexico. She immigrated at a young age to the United States, moving to Imperial Valley before settling in Calexico, a border town in California.

Rita Sanchez “In order to complete my Ph.d at UCSD and get tenure at SDSU, I had three full time jobs: full time mother; full time grad student; and full time professor.”

Rita Sanchez was born and brought up in San Bernardino, California, seventh of eleven children. Her parents and their parents were from New Mexico, which had been home to her family for generations. Her ancestors were, in her words, the “first mestizos,” because of intermarriage between Spanish and Indian. This history, Sanchez points out, was the beginning of her “Chicana coming-to-consciousness,” the pride in her heritage, a tradition that she has celebrated throughout her life.

Olivia Puentes Reynolds "I was making the declaration about not just being a Mexican American. I was a Chicana. It had nothing to do with what other people said, it is my declaration and it came from me."

Olivia Puentes Reynolds sits for her interview with a guitar on her knee. Hers is a story of music and mythology, her activism inspired by poetry. Reynolds’ archive of health reports and radical newsletters is peppered with songs and drawings, complete with an entire teatro frontera booklet. Throughout her life, Reynolds combined art, music, and writing to stand up for social change.