April is national poetry month! On March 21, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Juan Felipe Herrera the first Latino California poet laureate. Herrera’s voluminous work includes titles such as 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border and Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler. The son of migrant farm workers, he explores the unique crossroads of culture, language and race that make up Californian heritage in much of his work. The interweaving of English and Spanish in his writing defies our instinct to identify and isolate these differences, and invites the reader to experience them as a richness of language and experience instead. Rainbow Resource Directory lists many social service providers that embrace cultural and lingual difference in just this way. In each of our listings, we indicate the languages spoken by staff and the types of services provided.
One great example of multilingual, multicultural service is Alma Family Services. Alma offers a range of services for children and adults with developmental, physical or emotional disabilities, mental health services, child and family development programs, and gang reduction youth programs at locations in East L.A., Walnut and Long Beach. Alma appears in our Counseling/Mental Health chapter and Disability/Special Edu/Rehabilitation. The listing includes their address, phone number, website, payment information, service area, and languages spoken in addition to English (Spanish and Korean).
If you want to learn more about Chicano history and culture, visit the Chicano Resource Center in East Los Angeles. Listed in our Ethnic/Culture/Translations chapter and Libraries chapter, it contains a special collection of books, journals, films and other media about Chicano and Mexican perspectives and experiences, and is open to the public.