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Interview with Frank C. Guzman

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Frank Guzman was born in Mexico in 1934, moved to the United States, served in the armed forces, and was director of Migrants in Action, Inc., of St. Paul at the time of the interview. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The Migrants in Action program, including its foundation, history, present status and hopes for the future - and personal history.

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0:44:33

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TRANSCRIPT OF AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW WITH FRANK C. GUZMAN July 14, 1975 INTERVIEWER: GRANT A. MOOSBRUGGER

This interview was conducted as part of a series on the Mexican American in Minnesota. Frank C. Guzman, in his brief account of growing up in St. Paul in the late 1930's and 1940's shows a fairly typical maturation and social development trend seen in the people of his generation. Frank continually grew and developed as he changed from job to job during his early life. As a result of his desire for social reform and community improvement, coupled with his organizational and administrative skills, he became director of Migrants in Action. In this interview he not only discusses his own history, but also the history of the Migrants in Action program, its present status and hopes for the future. This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview edited to aid in clarity and ease of comprehension for the reader. The or~.gina1 tape recording is available in the Audio-Visual Library of the Minnesota Historical Society.

INTERVIEW WITH FRANK C. GUZMAN July 14, 1975 Interviewer: Grant Moosbrugger

Moosbrugger:

This is Grant Moosbrugger interviewing Mr. Frank Guzman on July 14, 1975 at his organization, Migrants in Action, on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. This oral interview is conducted for the Mexican American

Historical Project under the auspices of the Minnesota Historical Society. Do I have your permission to interview you so that this

interview will become the property of the Minnesota Historical Society? Guzman: Moosbrugger: Yes, you do. To start off, Frank, can you tell us a little bit about who you are? Where you were born? Guzman: Your brothers and sisters?

My name is Frank Guzman, I was born Sotero Francisco Guzman, April 22, 1934, in St. Paul, Minnesota. called
Ramsey~)

I was born at "An~er Hospital", (now

My father's name is Francisco Guzman and my mo'ther is I have three brothers and three sisters. Ted, Gregorio, and Robert. My sisters are: My three Elenore,

Delores Guzman. brothers are:

Maureen, and Delores. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Moosbrugger: Guzman: Moosbrugger: Are any of your sisters married? What are their married names?

All three of them have been married, one of them is divorced now. What are their married names and do they have any children? Elenore Gomez, Maureen Flores, Delores Wigfield. What was the order in your family? From the oldest to the youngest?

-2-

Guzman:

Elenore is the oldest, then Ted, Maureen, myself, Gregorio, Robert, and Delores.

Moosbrugger:

Were your parents born in the United States, or did they come from Mexico?

Guzman:

They came from Mexico. 1900.

My dad was born in San Miguel de Allende in

My mother was born in Talpas, which is a few miles away from My father was a career soldier. He joined

San Luis Potosi in Mexico.

the Federal Government Army when he was 14 years old. the middle of the war at that time. went with Pancho Villa.

It was right in

He eventually changed sides and He was going

After the war he was a Major.

to be a Colonel in the Army. him.

He married my mother and she followed

He was on horseback and she carried everything on her back and They finally decided

followed, which was the traditional way in Mexico.

that my father wanted to plan things out ahead of time for the family. They thought that things were not too predictable in Mexico in those days, the money situation especially, and that one could come into the United States since passage into the United States was no problem for Mexican Nationals. crews in those days. road box cars. They came into Texas and he worked with railroad They lived under or outside of box cars, rail-

After a time of doing this, they went to seasonal work.

If there wasn't any work, they would go to work in cotton fields or vegetable fields. Eventually they found themselves going northward

for some reason or another, I still don't know, maybe it was the standard of living, or maybe the weather, or the pay was better; Whatever the reasons, they eventually found themselves in Minnesota.

-3-

Guzman:

Elenore was born in Mexico.

Ted, the next one down was born in Texas.

The rest of us were born in St. Paul, from Texas they came to St. Paul and they have been here ever since. Moosbrugger: Very often the trend when migrant workers came to Minnesota was to work in out-state areas for a time. Did your folks come directly to St. Paul

where your father found employment, or did he do seasonal work outside of the state? Guzman: They came directly, as far as I know, to St. Paul, and
~hen
"

from here They

they continued to go out in rural areas to work all the:time. worked in the rail crews here like they did in Texas.

In the summer

time, the family would go out to various places in Minnesota and work in the sugar beets or in something else. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Do you know any of these areas or which towns? Here, in the early times, there was places like LeSu~, Cokato, and
Glenc~

Moosbrugger: Guzman:

Hollandale? Hollandale was one of the last places they went to, where I worked, all of us worked. This was in the late 40's, we worked in Hollandale

weeding and harvesting onions. Moosbrugger: Maybe you'd like to mention, for posterity, some of your nieces and nephews? Guzman: Sure, let's start with Eleanore. Eleanore was married to Nick Gomez.

-4-

Guzman:

The Gomez family had lived in St. Paul quite a few years also. Gomez family is related to, 1.0u'll
eventua~ly

The

find out who these people The Vasquez family is

are, the Martinez family and the Vasquez family. very, very old on the West Side. They had no children.

The Gomez family is related to them.

Ted married to the Mendez family, the Mendez They have one son, Eustacio Flores They are from

family has been here since about the thirties.

Teddy, Jr., Maureen is married to Eustacio Flores.

came up here with his brothers in the middle forties. Alamo, Texas, very close to McAllan.

And they have, seven children

I can't keep track of all of them, Gina, Chico, Maureen, Nina, Philip, Bobby. They own the restaurant "La Cucaracha" on Dale Street here in My brother Greg married Henrieta Munoz, the Munoz family

St. Paul.

lived on the East Side, living down in "El Pozo" or "Swede Hollow" when we first met them, back in the early forties. Capitol. Then we moved by the

We lived there for a while, then we moved over on Iglehart So, those two are married, the Munoz' are also

back in about '49.

related to the Vasquez. Moosbrugger: Guzman: I see, through marriage perhaps? No, they're cousins. They have four children. My sister Delores, who

was married to Mike Wigfield, has one child her name is Michelle. Moosbrugger: Maybe you can tell us something of your background, which schools you attended and what your experiences were? Guzman: Sure. Street. Both good and bad experiences. I was born in Hoffman

I don't remember a lot about my childhood.

These are all areas that are across, they used to call the old

-5-

Guzman:

Lafayette bridge, Payne Avenue area, just this side towards the Capitol. There are a lot of little tiny streets in there. I was born on Hoffman, And then from there,

from there we moved to Segal, then to North Street.

when I was five years old we moved over on Canada Street in St. Paul. The old development. We lived in two different locations on Canada Street. From there

Then we moved over to 13th Street which is in the same area. to Iglehart where I was married.

I went to Frank1tl.n.E1ementary School, then after that to Mechanic Arts. There weren't an awful lot of Mexican Americans. I remember my childhood We It was

area on the East Side, maybe six families or so lived over there. knew that most of the Mexican Americans lived on the West Sdde.

interesting in those days when we met most of the people on the West Side. The kids spoke Spanish, and most of us didn't, on the East Side. was quite a rivalry between us. thing. There

There were gang fights and that sort-of-

There weren't that many gang fights, but we always told each other In grade school, somewhere along the

that there would be gang fights.

line, it must have been second or third grade, I knew I was different. I was darker, and I felt that in order to be American, you had to be white, you had to speak English well, and you had to eat American food, things like that. Well, although I was having trouble, I thought that I was a Because of that, I was
~'torti11as"

failure until I learned to do all things well.

ashamed to bring people to my house; they would smell the "frijoles" in my house.

and

Even though·I couldn't speak Spanish well, I My mother and father in those

still had an accent and I could tell it. days couldn't speak English at all.

So, I was· embarrassed that I was a

Mexican American and thought that "to call myself· a Mexican", was kind of

-6-

Guzman:

a "down-grade", and I was expected not to be one.

I think I was very

successful by the time I got to high school in breaking the ax, into behaving like the American kids around me at that time. that it was a mistake to feel that way. But not.". I know

It would have helped me be a

better person persona·lly, if I could have accepted these things normally. If I had just realized the wonderful culture that was behind me, I wouldn't have had to go through the things I went through. stammer a lot when I was a kid, really bad. paranoid about a lot of things. feelings weren't too good. In high school, I remember starting back to school. Everybody began school I sued to

I was really insecure and Those

Those are the things I remember.

on September 3rd or 4th, and we'd come back from the fields on September 15th, because we promised a grower that we'd harvest his onions for him. I went into class and they knew where I had been. It was embarrassing to

tell anyone that I was working in the fields, you know, very, very menial kind of labor, and my skin was much, much darker in those days. that little bit. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Moosbrugger: Guzman: Moosbrugger: Did you finish up at Mechanics? Yes, I finished Mechanic Arts High School. What did you do after Mechanics? I graduated in 1952. 1952. That was just prior to the Korean War, did you have envolvement What year did you graduate? I remember

in the armed service?

-7-

Guzman:

Yes, I joined the Marine Corps in 1953, I went to Korea and my brothers Greg and Bob also joined the Marine
Corp~,

they went in also. Did you get

Moosbrugger:

Was there anything significant about your service years?

to go to any schools that led you into what you did later in the line of work? Guzman: Moosbrugger: Guzman: Moosbrugger: Guzman: No, not really, no. So you went in, in 1953. 1956. 1956, what did you do then? Mostly nothing. For a couple of years I just drew unemployment compenWhen did you come out?

sation, worked on construction, did some odd jobs, worked as a janitor for the state, did some more state jobs as kind of a laborer and started going to college in year and a half. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Moosbrugger: Guzman: Where did you go to college? University of Minnesota. U of M. No. Then what did you go into? Were you married by this time?
1958-'5~

through the G.l. Bill.

I went about a

About December 1959, I was collecting unemployment compensation and

one of the interviewers, the employment office workers, I had to stop by to see about a job, before I went over to collect my check. Tony Dana,

the commissioner, I went to school with him, he was a year ahead of me.

-8-

Guzman:

He wanted to know if I wanted to work seasonally.

I said, "Sure",

"Well

I need somebody for the unemployed compensation section."

So, I took a

test, and I qualified, and pretty soon I was handing out checks for unemployment compensation. I did that for about five years. I paid out These

authorized payments from about November to about April every year. were the best years of my life.

After that I worked at Hamms for about

a monthe, and got some good work outs, and the rest of the summer, I was off, until November again. That was real nice. I took a full time job

at the employment service in 1965, as a testing clerk with the Youth Opportunity Center when they first opened in St. Paul. in the state system. I was
~est

After that I stayed

Technician, Youth Advisor, Interviewer,

Counselor, and Job Specialist up until two years ago in 1973, when I took a leave of absence from the State Employment Service. I took a six month In order to

leave of absence, every six months I go down and renew it.

get a leave of absence in the Department you've got to be doing something that's going to help them. situation. They feel doing all this is helping their Do you want to talk
Or

Eventually I might go back again to them.

about the Migrants in Action now, as long as we're talking about it? do you want to get back to my personal life? Moosbrugger: No, we might as well really investigate your personal life's story and

then if you like, you can tell a little bit about the Migrants in Action. Guzman: OK. I can say the work from Hollandale was the limit of my field work The whole family averaged about 70¢ an hour, averaged My younger brother Bob, because We averaged about 60 hours

for three years.

about ten hours a day, six days a week.

he was so little, received about 40¢ an hour.

(

-9-

Guzman:

hours a week and we'd be happy at the end of the week to get a dollar or two and go to Maple Island, which is not far from Hollandale. You could

go to a Mexican dance that night or a film, or on Sunday there would probably be a softball game, people selling "Raspa con Pina" and "Tarrnales". It was just great and we'd meet girls. were from Texas and spoke Spanish. Most of the people that were there

To us they were acting peculiar, you The difference between

know, as compared to people living around here.

the people up here and the people down in Texas doesn't seem as great anymore. One thing that really bothered me in those days, was that on

payday or a day before payday the Immigration Officers would come by and pick up a whole bunch of people. I always wondered how they knew, the

day before payday that they were suppose to pick them up, and take them. I don't know, I've always wanted to know what happen to that money and it bothers me a lot. Moosbrugger: Maybe it would be reasonable to theorize that the growers would turn them in so they wouldn't have to pay them after they slaved? Guzman: Moosbrugger: Right, right. You mentioned that you would end up with a dollar or two at the end of the week. Guzman: Did they have a company store? Where did some of the money go?

Yes, well, there weren't any company stores but, there was a store in Maple Island which was close to our house. was a store. And then in Hollandale there

I never investigated in those days, but there was a time of

the week that prices were for the local people and a time of week when the prices were much, much higher when the migrants would go in, who would

-10-

Guzman: Moosbrugger: Guzman:

never look at prices, who would just go in and buy their things. Buy the things you needed? Buy the things you needed and would really load up. A lot of people

would owe money to the stores and to the doctors in the area and things like that. Growers would arbitrarily just take this out of their checks
pa~d-before

and make sure that the local people got checks. Moosbrugger:

the workers got their

Were there any other aspects of life, for instance maybe the actual housing where the migrant workers were put? suppose, to provide some kind of housing. The growers were obliged I Was there anything they could

have done to make it a little nicer; any small effort on their part that could have improved things? Guzman: Yes, I think there were a lot of little things they could have done that wouldn't have cost too
~uch

money: ·raise the house up off the ground so

the rats and skunks wouldn't get into the house; better toilet facilities and better places where people could wash themselves. You would have to

get a basin, come in the one room house, which served as kitchen, bedroom, and everything else. we would take baths that way. The really simple kind

pf things, the basic necessities, that kind of stuff, not a whole lot of things. Ic.-understand that a lot of the state and federal laws regarding

housing in these areas take care of these things now. Moosbrugger: Guzm,): That will be interesting for us to see next year. Yes, right. In high school, I liked
sports~an

awful lot and I got on the

-11-

Guzman:

A Squad at Mechanic Arts in football, basketball, and baseball, in my sophmore year. But we were two blocks away from Harkins, and I like to Once in a while I'd like to see if I could get So, my

play pool, play for money. on the team.

I didn't get to play in any sports after that.

senior year, the winter in my senior year, I paid.

Gee, I didn't have a So after

letter in sports, and that really bothered me an awful lot.

about a month or so around the house I started practicing playing golf. I decided to try to get on the golf team and I made the golf team. know they only have six men on golf; the first guy was the best guy. was the sixth man on the golf team. letter right away. Moosbrugger: Guzman: I got to played golf and got my You I

Do you remember Harkins Pool Hall?

Very well, I spent many happy hours down there. A lot of Mexican kids came down there, I think that reminds me, one of the places where the East Side and West Side Mexican coming together.
~ericans

started

Moosbrugger: Guzman:

Coming together? Coming together and meeting each other for the first time, really started talking to each other at Harkins. Where do we go now?

Moosbrugger: Guzman:

Maybe

we'~can

make a mention of your marriage and do you have any children? She lived down on 16th and We have two children,

Yes, I was married in 1960 to Darlene Olson.

University, well, call it Jackson and University. Christopher and Angela.

It's interesting because her folks were from the

-12-

Guzman:

East Side and were against the marriage.

As a Mexican American, I can I am sure that So

understand the situation and the problem in those days.

my family wasn't completely happy with me marrying an Anglo either.

it was kind of hectic and there was tension in the air when we got married. Moosbrugger: Do you see that as a trend, in your own personal experience, that there's never ever been any slight disapproval on the part of parents on the Mexican American parents if their children were to marry another race or nationality? Guzman: For the first generation, I think it's a definite hang up on the part of the parents. I think with a lot of the first generation who speak- Eii:gl;ish, ,

who were born here, who married other Mexican Americans, who are living a very traditional life are all going to go through the same kind of thing with their kids. Moosbrugger: What's your own personal philosophy? Would you be upset if either of your

own children married somebody of a different nationality or race? Guzman: No. I have no problem with that whatsoever. I think it's pretty inter-

esting and it's nice that people can do things together with the race and culture together but I don't think it's something that we have to keep together, and I don't buy that kind of stuff. Moosbrugger: Do you make an effort, or do you find yourself actually doing anything that would help keep alive for your children their awareness of their culture and heritage? For instance, do you ever travel back to Mexico, do you

have any Mexican food in the house?

-13-

Guzman:

There are things that we do. some Mexican food.

There's my job, we go to Mexico, we eat But I

My wife cooks very, very good Mexican food.

think we're not doing anywhere near enough to keep alive the culture I could in the family. For instance, I could be teaching my children to

speak Spanish, but I don't, it's terrible. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Do you have Mexican music and records and so on, at home? Yes, I do. I just want to add one more thing here.
lear~as

This is helpful.

I think one of the

things for Mexican Americans to

they get up here (first generation),

is to learn to get rid of the hang-ups that keep them from being first class Americans: the English, the Mexican food, getting better jobs like I think the

the Americans are getting, buying a house and all that.

people that are really successful are the ones that work at the packing house. They have steady jobs, and some pretty good pay, they were able They cut their lawn and they looked and

to buy a house next to Anglos.

started behaving like them and everything else and I think that's part of the reason why it's no big deal about the culture. We were taught to I

learn to get rid of that kind of stuff, and do what we are doing now. think that we got to be very good at that.

So, what is happening now, is Why

that we are getting a lot of kids saying, "What about our culture? aren't we speaking Spanish?

Why aren't we eating Mexican food and why

aren't we going to the dances and why aren't we getting ourselves together?" old days," And so the parents say, "Well that's not right. and that kind of stuff. "What's now is now". Those were the So what's

happening now is that a lot of the kids are listening for their culture and wanting to go back, are getting some things going, are part of a

-14-

Guzman:

Cultural group, or Latin Liberation, The University of Minnesota and that kind of thing. This is why we are getting Chicano studies and other things But at the same time

going, because the young people want to get into it. it's giving the parents goose bumps.

The parent's are saying, "Watch out,

you are making trouble for us, we've gone through this stuff before and we know better, we don't want anymore of this stuff." So there are some

problems between the generations, a cultural generation gap between the parents and the kids. Moosbrugger: Guzman: I just thought I would mention that.

Do you think that this is a healthy new wave of interest in the culture? I sure do, I think it's going to be good for everybody. We start accepting

the idea, for instance, the argument about whether we are Caucasions or not. Who told us that we were Caucasion? time. I would like to find that out someI don't know what the You

In 1941, we were told we were Caucasion.

reason was for it.

And I think what we are saying is "No we aren't." How can we be called CaucaslLons or

know, a lot of· us are saying, "No." anything like that?

Let's see Migrants in Action if you really want to look at the full history. I think we can say that we started in this Agency, it started in 1968. was called Migrants Incorporated. good staff. It had mostly Federal monies, a real It

The thing is they did such a good job with the little amount

of money they had, that they expanded from the Twin Cities area into all of Minnesota, North Dakota and into Iowa. well. They seemed to be doing really

But they got caught up in the bureacracy of paper work and funding, They got behind 50 thousand dollars

proposed money, this kind of thing.

-15-

Guzman:

that the Federal Government promised to give them. not give it to them. dollars."

Later on, they could

"Well, I'm sorry I can't give you the fifty thousand

And the Agency went bankrupt. Who were some of the people?

Moosbrugger: Guzman:

Where was their first location?

They were located on Concord Street here in St. Paul and Jim Fish was a part of it, I think he was the director. Arnaldo Garcia, at that time,

was working as an advocate of that office., He stayed around and his own people helped form an agency called the Minnesota Migrant Council. were around for a year or two. They

Later they were on the West Side in a

building on George and Gorman (Mexican American Cultural and Educational Center) • Moosbrugger: Guzman:

On George and Gorman.
Right. They were there also on North Robert. They had several Directors,

one of them was Felipe Ramirez.
them~

There were ot'1.ers but I c'an t t think of

Anyway, there were some problems, some personnel problems, some

problems on the Board of Directors;<arid federal monies, at least in part on the federal monies. They thought that they would go out of town and So they took the books and money The Minnesota Migrant Council

serve the migrants in the rural area.

with them and did work in the rural areas. still exists today, as you well know.

Arnaldo Garcia stayed around with

some Vista workers and they continued to help people, put people up in their own homes and things. They started Migrants in Action on West

Seventh Street, with money from churches, donations from churches, etc. They were finally getting some bigger donations, for instance they finally

-16-

Guzman:

got some foundation like the Hill Foundation, the Bremer, and the Bush to do some operational things; to buy a house over on Ashland Avenue which was condemn, and help to rehabilitate it with money from the Bremer Foundation. The money from the Hill Foundation was for three years and Half the money from the Federal

that takes us up to the present time.

Government, part of it is from the Hill Foundation, so we are now getting into federal money again. this thing. going. I had to work out the organizational part of
thi~gs

We had to be working

out and seeing how things were

We were finding out that you could never really plan anything, you Everything is

could never plan your activities like I was used to doing. a crisis. time.

There's a crisis every day, all the time, morning and night We'd tried As a

Our people were feeling burnt out, were feeling down.

really hard, but something would fall and we'd go back down again.

result of not turning in the right documents, not recording things right, record failure, these kind of thingsy We had to do them snyway, so we It1s

finally figured out that we could still re-organize ou'se1ves.

almost two years now, a half dozen times, and finally we decided on several things: there was going to be an operation that dealt with all

parts of the operations; one part of the operation is going to be dealing with crisis situations. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Crisis situations for the people whom you are serving? Yes!: By crisis I think I meant usually the family that shows up here at 5:00, twelve people in the family, no' food and no shelter. so often I mean what do you do? This happens So it's

Especially if the house is full.

nothing now where people fall apart anymore.

It's built into our operation.

-17-

Guzman:

How do you handle these kind of situations?

There were contacts that we

had ourselves, in fact we did all things and that's easy now, that stuff is easy. Another thing we had to do is say, "Why are we doing it? Why

isn't the Welfare doing it?

Or the Employment Service or anyone else?

The one thing we did was to know these places and where they stood physically; we'd take someone down to the Welfare Department at 8:00 in the morning and sit there until 5 :00 p.m. We have good contacts at the Welfare. help, kind of assist them. They don't do that anymore.-

We call them up tell them who needs We fill out the We do this with

We take an important step.

forms for them here, also the pre-screening is done here.

food stamps, with employment services, we have contacts, we have creditability, they trust us and we trust them. There are some steps we have cut

out, in order to get the services taken care of that need to be taken care of right away.
As long as they are being taken care of they wait in line

like everyone else does.

These are emergency kind of things.

We still

are seeing the same people all the time and r, lot of times different people for the same reasons. kind of things. Moosbrugger: In other words, someone you have given emergency help comes back any time he finds himself, themselves, in other crisis? Guzman: Don't misunderstand, they don't have the field situation, they don't have the money. A lot of times the landlord doesn't want all the kids, or The same kind for each one of them. Emergency

they can't get a job because they don't have a high school diploma, these kind of things. We've got to take care of these things. No one cares so

we built a sensitivity program for the community and we got money from the

-18-

Guzman:

Christian Charity Fund.

We hired a person, Cynthia Heelan, to do the job. Every

She is very, very involved in training groups and group therapy.

Friday we meet and talk about how we can work with the churches, the welfare, the things that they can do for us and the things we can do for them, from this she built a training program. more Chicanos, and put up notices in Spanish. Moosbrugger: Guzman: Train their staff so they can deal effectively with migrant people? Yes, you can do role playing and this kind of thing. stamp people in our station here. with somebody else's money. We have some food They are going to hire

We hired them for the summer to work

They have a list of the places that we think We call that social

need to be worked with here in training sessions. changes.

By the time we are through with all of this, our long range

plan would be that all the agencies know and understand all about migrants and prepare themselves for them, that they set up programs for migrants, so that we won't need to do that anymore. agency too. Moosbrugger: I see, maybe it would be worth while to cover this a little more thoroughly. When you say you have two staff members who are out working with acquainting the community, do you mean the community at large, the Twin Cities Metropoliten Area? These people are acquainting people who would have the We would like to be a referral

and an information agency and not have to provide all the services

potential of hiring these migrants, acquainting them with some of the special problems and some of the special needs of the migrant people who are coming in?

-19-

Guzman:

Right, for example the Welfare Department. State Employment Service.

Another example is your

The State Employment Service has a contract

with us, so we can help train their people, and then help train their trainers, so they can have a continuous thing going. We also have someWe have met

thing set up with The National Alliance of Business Men. with them several times.

They have agreed to let us train, let us give

a session, a good two or three hour session, to 116 corporation heads all at one time, with role playing, etc. From that we are hoping that when

they have a National Alliance of Business Men program going, which is a good one in there, they will have things specifically about the Chicanos and migrants. Then the company will say, "Oh yes, migrants, they have a However when you fill out

lot of good background and good skill labor."

an application and there are a lot of spaces missing, they don't want you. They have a good background in mechanical things, they fix the grower's trucks and tractor and everything else. And they know if somebody wants

to go back to Texas and says, "I want to go back to Texas because my "compadre" is sick, and I have to take my whole family with me" believe it and they will understand it. to him. they will

They would say it is important

They will understand it and those kind of things that are

happening. This is really going to be a big help for us once we feel that most of the agencies, the churches, and the community at large, are getting the word about what the Chicanos are about and the migrants are all about. are going to make our job a lot easier for us. I have to boast a little bit about our agency. They

It's going in that direction. First of all, at this time

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Guzman:

we're really a low keyed agency.

We don't have that much time to be

running around doing PR (public relations) for ourselves and things like that. We have to relay on credibility, relay on good contacts for us.

We've got to stop limiting ourselves to dealing with just emergency things. We are really good at that, emergency things, but it's got to be more than that if it's going to be meaningful kind of settlements. the social change things I talked about. Bi-lingual Program in St. Paul. We have to do

We have to get involved with the

We have staff here, that spent many, many We think

hours and has done an awful lot of pushing to get things going. we initiated the Bi-lingual Program in St. Paul.
\

.\

We didn't do it all, we

initiated and helped the program. (Minnesota Chicano Federation).

We think we initiated the Federation, We hired Ryan Camps, through the It was sort of searet.

Camping Human Development, a year and a half ago. It was a Chicano organizer.

The reason it was secret was because of the

problems that we, Chicanos, had in the past about differences, not getting . along, and things like that. We hired this person who had a lot of training

in the jungles in Columbia and allover, working to get people together out there, forming co-ops and that kind of thing. We had to have somebody who

was not a real dominant kind of person, yet someone who could be forceful and easy going. I think this person is one of the biggest reasons for By going to each one

Chicanos getting along better the last year or so.

of them, sitting down with them, talking about things, and getting their trust. By saying, "Well you do this, and so and so does this. By doing it for a long time. When do That was one

you guys want to get together?"

of his main goals to get a Federation together. looks very promising.

We got it going and it

Another thing was to get the bi-lingual program city

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Guzman:

and state

wide~

Well, we got it going in the city.

You have to have an

awful lot of pushing in the city to get things going. Moosbrugger: Guzman: The bi-lingual program, is this through the schools? Yes, they didn't want it. going last year. They still don't want it, but they got one We had to

This year they didn't make a new proposal.

go over there again and write this proposal and get more money for them. It is pretty hard to get money from the federal government, especially in an area that people who are supposed to do it, don't want it. give it "to you that means there must be a need for it. If they

We had to do a lot

of head counts, a lot of documentations showing where the Chicanos are in grade school systems, where the drop out rate is and what happens to migrants.
It

took an'!awful lot" of time to do it.

State wide, they've the

legislative doing the same kind of thing. there.

That one is still shallow over

It's doing those kind of things, working with the immigration

officer about hastling the Chicanos and Black Americans, it's dealing with churches, it's working with housing people about housing, substandard housing, it's all these kind of extra things that takes an awful lot of time in addition to do the things we are doing everyday. of the boasting. Moosbrugger: Maybe you can tell us, Frank, where you would like to see Migrants in Action in 1980? Guzman: 1980. That will be five years from now. That's the end

Hopefully if everything goes right, we like to be an agency that

provides some good detail information and is a good reliable referral agency to other agencies. We hope that most of the services that we are providing

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Guzman:

now will eventually be taken over by the services of who are best set up to take care of these needs.

Moosbrugger:

Who would you like to see comprising the people that are running Migrants in Action in 1980? You indicated as we chatted before that sometimes

organizations try to get in high powered people, PHD's and MA's and forceful people. Guzman: Who do you think can best serve the migrants?

Yes, I think I've mention that as an agency it's better, and feel that Migrants in Action is really doing some good things, there's a tendency to do things more high powered, to do things really good. In order to do

them, you usually would start paying people more money, and get more qualified, higher background people with education. However, when you do I think

this, there's a tendency to lose the real reason for existing.

this program really can't be run, a feeling can't be there about how to serve migrants, unless you have the migrants themselves working here. guess that's what I was trying to say, that :ou always have to keep in mind why we are here, who we are trying to serve, and who really should be the people giving directions. directions. Migrants should be giving this agency So how do you mix the two, high I

They should be working here.

powered qualified people and migrants, is going to be a problem. Moosbrugger: Well, thank you very much for the interview Frank.