The Buenavida Dilemma is a rich account of the history and life experiences of Hispanics in the Southwest and West from the 1850s through today. Using five generations of the Buenavida family, the author describes the social and cultural events and issues, including legal conflicts affecting Hispanics. Hot and controversial topics such as "English Only" laws; discrimination in schools and environmental justice are examined and pointedly analyzed. The book will illuminate the Hispanic struggle to maintain one's culture while succeeding in the U.S. mainstream.
Jose Uranga has successfully interwoven the history of Mexican Americans in the Southwest with the experiences of the Buenavida family. To be or not to be is a dilemma that many Latinos faced when they encountered Anglo society and the United States or local governments. The Buenavida family's journey on that path of adjustment always meant choices of giving up or suppressing their native culture in order to work with the larger Anglo culture. More often, choices were made for Latinos in terms of schools and classes, who their friends would be and what kinds of jobs they could have. This is an excellent book for anyone who wishes to more fully understand the historical contexts of Mexican Americans in the Southwest and the impact of Anglo society on Latinos. This book would be a fine addition for those teachers who also wish to have cultural materials for their classes at the middle, high school and college levels.
Dr. Raymond Sandoval has taught at several universities including UCLA, University of Colorado at Denver and the University of Santa Clara. He is a well-recognized Latino scholar and expert in cultural diversity training.