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Lisa Mateo ( -

What a wonderful site you have!

I am a Toronto based Performance Artist currently working on a piece about women and their grandmothers. I have been talking with Latin women in Toronto, about the influence thier abuelas had on them.
I was curious if anyone had any stories they would like to share with me about their abuelita. Do you know songs, stories, recipes that these women showed you?

I am a Canadian woman and both of my grandmothers are from Spain. One I knew very well and the other passed away when i was three, however, i feel so connected to the one that passed away. Not only do we look alike with the exception that she was very fair and i am quite dark, she and i share many different ideas..according to my father and grandfather...

I would love to hear from other women who might like to share stories about their family and their experience with them.

I am working with a Mexican woman who has lived in Canada for the past ten years. She is amazing and has great stories to tell...a beautiful dancer and visual artist...

anyhow, i look forward to hearing from you,



email me at

Charlotte -

To Gabriel Lopez:
It's been three years since I began visiting with my grandma. She is 92 years old. I thank God that we no longer worry about speaking Spanish or English correctly, as long as we can communicate. It's not enough, she's in California and I am in Oregon. But at least it's not to late. I understand the way you feel. At 46, I am finding my way back home.

Rebecca Alaniz ( -

I like the "glass house" effect. I think it serves its purpose. I think we should have more of these interactive cultural perspectives. I'm from riverside, and I feel assimilation erases our history and a very endowed conciousness of the latina. I live in omaha, nebraska. The mexicans I know here at school are not into our culture. They're are busy trying to assimilate and not reach back to celebrate the beauty of our people. I'm glad I'm graduating and going back home soon.

lucero ( -

i understand ur struggle although i can b ur daughter i feel the same way its hard being brown n american society but i am american so it shouldnt b, no? revolution lets make it

Karen ( -

This is the most amazing website. It can be difficult to look inside yourself and your life, but to let the world see is simply courageous. I am Native American but was raised white, and look white. It is difficult to hear people talk about problems within the Native American culture without saying " STOP, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT MY PEOPLE." I hope to have as much courage as you do.

for u to~~~N V ~~~ ( -

this msg is to ~J ( ~
I'm india, and i'm 20 yrs in Canada. I was born and raised up here.i speak fluent English. But one thing that i have, and i know many other indians have, is , Respect for ourselves and others. Majority of indian ppl, have respect. Now if you can't have respect for your teacher, who happens to have a british accent, well J Crazy, you need to go get get yourself some education and grow up! start to respect who teaches you! I don't know if you are indian or not, to be honest, it doesn't matter what you are. LEARN TO RESPECT OTHERS! Obviiously I see you can't do that.thn LEARN TO RESPECT YOURSELF !!!

Cathy from Nashville, Tennessee ( -

Beautiful....Thank you for sharing so much with me, a female Caucasian who was exploring the Web when I stumbled upon this treasure --- your website!

m ( -

I was bored during finals and looked up suggested links, after the class ended. I see some connectin that this site has to my religious studies class towards the end. I think that the personal relations are the greatest connect.

I know that I am not the only one that knows the traditional language; yet, I speak in english. I have studied other languages but few people speak them. It is almost as people try to lose their old world identity trying to conform to the norm. Ecen my friends have converstions that one party speaks in a foreign language and the other party speaks in english. I find it almost saddening.

Yoni Goddess ( -

This was awesome! IĄve been thinking a lot about the whole American thing and it just seems like it should be so broad. Why is it that only white people get to define themselves as american? ArenĄt they just European American just as some are Mexican American/Chicana African American, Asian American, Arab American--ItĄs a nation of immigrants right?

Jolene ( -

My favorite photo was "the beatles and me". The whole glass house was very entertaining.

Lili ( -

Your grappling with multicultural, multilingual identity issues touches my heart. In some ways I am your opposite. I am a gringa born of norteamericanos in D.F. in 1949. Mi primer idioma fue espanol, y no aprendi ingles hasta que venimos a los EEUU en 1956. Que soy yo? I say: "My brain is Anglo, my heart is Mexican and the rest is a mixture of both." All through high school in Sierra Madre, CA I heard the constant refrain: "Funny, you don't look Mexican." But the truth is and was, I have never felt either Mexican or "American." There is something I cannot articulate about being BOTH AND. Again, thank you for your words, images and sounds. Lili Brown de Harrison.

Yolanda Lisowe ( -

Glad to hear I'm not the only Mexican-American who knows the Spanish language, but speaks in English. If you don't have the opportunity to speak Spanish on a daily basis, you tend to forget a lot of things. I'm not alone, right?

Pamela Carvajal Drapala ( -

Glass Houses is a creative and delightful site. I too feel, I've peeked back into my past. It is a wonderful gift on my Mother's Day 2001. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. : ) Pamela Carvajal Drapala

Mark Gonzalez ( -

It's almost 5 de mayo 2001 and while most Americans think it's our Day of Independence it has in fact become OUR DAY. Sure it's now all about party and mexican food and fiesta. But at least it opens people's minds. Your house is another way that we can open people's minds. Thank you for educating others about what it means to be a "Latino" living in the U.S. I say "Latino" because that's a way that we can all leave behind our nationalism and join forces for the future. I'm also Mexican but I know that by saying Latino I open the door to others like me, who share a similar culture and language eventhough we come from different countries. The good news is that things are getting better but the future also depends on your kids and whether or not they embrace who they are or shy away from it. And it's not just about speaking Spanish, it's about adding a Latino flavor into the American way of life. After all, what is American but a mixture of us all.

Rita Sosa -

It is a very good and nice story of her life living in Mexico
and then moving to the United States as a young girl .
Well I was born in California ,both of my parents are Mexicans my mom came to the United States when she was 13 years old since that age she has been working all her life to give us what we need and I thank her for that.
She suffered a lot because she did not know anybody here and she was harrased and insulted for being mexican
but she did not pay attention to anything, after 30 years of
living here she is now a resident . I just wanted to say that
I really liked this story .

Devin Elizondo ( -

Thank you, for sharing your life experiences. I too as a Mexican-American have these fears and similar history, although my parents probably share a closer immigrant and era specific perspective, I understand and identify with your struggle. It makes me happy to see your family, because it reminds me of mine and the stories that are shared, at Christmas time, from behind plates full of piping hot tamales!!
Devin Elizondo
Senior @UCLA studying History and Education

Laura Garcia Vasquez ( -

Dear Jacalyn,

I loved your web site and thought it was very true in every aspect of the house....I can identify with parts of your story...but I saw more of my mothers life in your house...she came from a large family of 11 kids all born in San Antonio,Tx, but her parents (my grandparents) were both born in mother lost her mom at the age of 12 yr old, her mom was only 39 yrs old and had given birth to 11 kids, the youngest being only 3 months old at the time of her death...despite their loss, each of the 11 kids finished high school, which of course, was considered an accomplishment in the 1950' grandfather remained a single parent, having raised his children with the help of his kids and close mom has special and unique bondness with each of her siblings and they all remain close to one father had a poorer childhood...he came from a very dysfunctional family with 8 kids, all boys.....his father was an alcoholic and abused his wife and kids.....but my dad was a fighter and was deteremined to make a life outside his poverty childhood...he strife to give his children (my brother & I)all the things he didnt have as a child...we always had a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and toys to play with...we lived the all american middle class lifstyle...but if is my father who never let me forget who I am.....when I was asked, "what are You", I used to answer Mexican, but Daddy would correct me to say, "Mexican-American"...I never learned Spanish, but I grew up listening to Mexican music...My mother didnt want me to suffer the discrimination that she had going to school....being forced to speak only English and being punished in school...I didnt have the native tongue, but I had the native heart....I have always been proud of my heritage....yet, my kids too dont speak Spanish, but are still being taught the valueable lessons I learned from my love, honor, and respect each other, and to always remain faithful to what you believe in.....I really admire people like yourself, who have taken the time to preserve your family heritage....Thank you for sharing your house with me....Sincerely, Laura Garcia Vasquez

Nick Hill ( -

You made "Pasen, esta es su casa" into something new. If the house represents the self, as psychologists have said and you have shown, then it should be clear that your openness and generosity are only exceeded by your creativity. I teach Latin American literature at Fairfield University and hope to bring some students to your house soon so they can meet you all.

Amina Ali ( -

Hi. My name is Amina and I am of Puerto Rican and Syrian descent.Being light-skinned and born in the USA I identified a lot with the Glass House. I live in New York City and I am a poet and writer. I am interested in any websites, e-zines or print zines by latinas or bi-racial or multi-racial women.Please leave info @ my e-mail "" Thanks.

Celina ( -

Dear Jacalyn,

Gracias for taking the trouble of sharing your experiences in the search of identity. I work with Hispanic and Mexican American middle school children in South Central LA. This summer we will develop a unit in identity, and your site is a perfect place for all our kids to begin their own work.

Gracias again, take care.


Roena Rabelo Vega ( -

Dear Jacalyn,
May God bless you and your beautiful work. It is important not only to honor our roots but when we have the ability to honor them in a public forum--to do so. I am a Chicana from California, I identify with your story. Today I am a journalist in NYC. Education is everyone's opportunity. Thank you for presenting your work to us--for reminding us of the strength of spirit that runs through our veins. There is a long road ahead for all Latinos, particularly for us of Mexican descent. But I feel nothing but pride and encouragement when I come across creative work like "Glass Houses." Through all our different work we will succeed in presenting an honest and true protrayal of what it is to live as a Chicana in this Country.
Peace, Roena

Cristina Armijo ( -

Gracias senora! I am half-breed Hispana y Mexicana...half my roots are Spanish from New Mexico and half Mexican from Texas. I was raised with a minimum of Spanish, though both sets of grandparents speak "spanglish". There are many seemingly conflicted identities within me. Colonialism, poverty, affluence, slavery, privilege are all a part of my heritage. I listen to (and play) punk rock music and have short hair (sorry, mom and dad) soy juera, although my eyes and hair are dark. I am actively working on developing a chicana conciousness at 25 yrs. old. I feel outside both "white" America and chicana/latina culture. In that rift is the "borderlands" (como dice Sra. Anzaldua) the richness of this conflict is exciting, but sometimes lonely. Thank you for opening you home to us, and making me feel like a guest, and not a stranger.

Diane Rosales ( -

Oh my gosh...are you telling my lifestory??? Thank you for letting us in to view your beautiful glass house...not till my 30's did i discover how PROUD I am to be a chicana. I often think about returning to school to get some history for more of an identity, but I know if I read enough I can still do that. Your page, family history is beautiful!
Thank You...Diane

Diane Solis ( -

Dear Jacalyn:

Your site is so candid and sincere. I have a site that is frequented by young women of Hispanic, Latina, and Asian descents...all looking for their way in this world. I will be adding a link to your site as I believe it will inspire them. Here's my URL if you would like to check it out.

Absolute Art Spirit is an interactive website created by a Mexican American woman (me) dedicated to Creativity and Personal Development through exploration in the arts, journaling, spirituality and more...

Jennifer ( -

Your site brought tears to my eyes. I too am Latin American, although I'm not of Mexican descent, but Argentine on my mother's side and Brasilian American on my father's side. I identified with sooooo much of what you were saying that I actually became choked up.

Your rooms portray life as it is for many Latinos, living in a country that has not yet accepted us as equals. I had to laugh about your wish to have darker features as I am cursed with blue eyes and hate it because people always ask me what I am or comment on them like I'm different, while living in Mexico.

I moved to your wonderful Mexico to get back into Latin culture while working in the U.S. It has been a blessing! I haven't been so happy in years as I am living among my culture and reassimilating into it.

God BLESS you for this site!

alexander lopez ( -

just by luck (my great luck!) i found your site. i sit here while my daughter is making arroz con pollo. the smells waft through the house and make it truly feel like home. her boyfriend is a photographer who has visited your house and was very complimentary. i can see why. i too grew up w/the dual identity conflicts you have described. as a child i sat and listened to my parents relate the stories of how my grandparents came over from Mexico. they were industrious and hard working people who passed much on to us. they never mastered the english language but somehow it never seemed to matter. we could always communicate.

it seems from some of your comments, the experiences here in texas are very similar to those you experienced in california. growing up (the 60's!!) with both american and mexican influences provided us w/both an edge and at times a handicap. seemingly, we never fit in to either culture completely.

i will visit your house in the future to see how your additional rooms are coming along and how you put up the pictures of your life (i have so many that resemble yours)on the walls of your home.



Christine Draa (draa@) -

I am a high school teacher in an inner city school in Sacramento and was searching for some assimilation information. I love your website. It is so obviously a labor of love. Thank you for letting me into your home. You have helped me to better understand my students, and perhaps, get a glipse of their homes. Best of Luck!
Sacramento, CA

I was looking for research on cultural identity and I found your page, it acurately describes the feelings of many people growing up with two cultures and i commend you for the ability to put it into words and pictures. thank you, a college student

Jesse Gonzales ( -

I've only viewed a small number of pages and haven't even gotten through the house;
but this is fascinating. Both the artists and the sponsors of this project are to be
commended for their creativity and foresight to develop such a project. Jesse Gonzales
( July 11, 1997

Holly Allen ( -

Dear Senora,

I haven't finished the tour of your project yet, but had to
interrupt it to make a few comments. I think it's beautiful!
I know I will enjoy the rest of the "rooms".

As a great-granny, who has lived all over this nation, who
has had several careers, who lived in So. California and
studied el bonita Espanol lengua for a year in college, who
was in show business for many years and involved with people
of many cultures, who was a child-care worker, off and on for
10 years to emotionally troubled youth, also of various
cultures, who was born and raised in Chicago in a thankfully
non-biased home, I have come to the conclusion that one of the
main reasons we have such ethnic bias in our nation is because
we are emphasizing OVERLOOKING the differences. Instead, we
should be ENJOYING the differences! We should celebrate each
other's cultures, food, accents, music, clothing styles, art,
holidays, etc. We also need to be inviting each other into our
homes and churches.

I'm of Scandinavian/Germanic heritage. Tonight, I'll be bring
ing a black neighbor of mine to my church for the Independence
Day choir celebration program. My youngest daughter, in
Riverside, CA, has been married 22 years to a man who is
Philippino/German, and they've given me two wonderful grandsons,
now in college. Peggy has learned to cook some wonderful
Philippino foods; Ed is wonderfully respectful of his mother,
and of me,his mother-in-law. My first great granddaughter,
1 1/2 year old now, is white/black, and beautiful! I am enjoying
their ethnic variety, and will continue to do so!
I believe mixed marriages can work, especially if the Lord is
the head of the marriage. And, if we understand how very much
Jesus cares for EACH AND EVERY ONE of us, how much better would
be our neighborhoods, our families, our work place, our churches,
our society, our world!

"Be PROUD and THANKFUL for your heritage, Jacalyn.
It is a gift from the Lord!"

God bless you!

Cristi Hendry ( -

Jacalyn--I just talked to you about the project (it's me, Cristi Hendry, in Marlene's area) and I tried to send e-mail again, but I'm doing something wrong. Anyway, I think this project gets us all to think about the significance of the pieces of our lives. Thanks for the inspiration to dig up memories as a way of making sense of the present...

Irene Lozano ( -

Dear Jackie:
I love your "new" house, it's absolutely you!!!! How happy you must be that you've got it just the way you
you've always dreamed. You've captured the perfect blend of yesterday decor and the promise of tomorrow. Bravo!!!
I congratulate you and will forever be honored to call you friend. Como desen "you've come a long way baby,
and you've only just scraped the surface of His gift to you. God's blessings be with you ahora, manana y siempre!
In His Love, Irene

kathleen cisneros olguin -

here it is Fathers day and I brouhjt my parents to see the exibits. yours was definitely great and we worked at it because I dont use a computer very much. your experience growing up was similiar to my own growing up in the 50s with the richness and sometimes questionable experiences with such a large family. my mom encourages your son to get in touch with Luis valdez at cal state univ. monterey bay. the program he is creating is fresh and futuristic and he says latinos come on down.thank you for the fun aftrnoon.

Darren J. De Leon (Houseguest) -

Jac: I do not have the capablity
to view your beuatiful house
because I am Netscape Blind.

The poetry, the warmth of the kitchen,
the Scrabble board, the keys beneath
the mat.

When the fire...
When the Bible...
When curbs appear...
When mother is near...
When and then...

I smell language, un caldo de lenguas y idiomas,
sliced with a border knife,
veins marbled and pictures in passports,
the Mexican cuts the American Meat.

Pictures for the braille.
Bread from the book.
Returned memories on tiled floors
once believed to be rocks.
[Click here for the millennium]
The comal is hot.
How can you fit a mocajete?
Microwave, Microwave,
Chili con soda pop.
Potato chips made from corn.
Do not neglect the maize inside the chip.

Jac's done the tongue millennium
before it did her.

paz y pan

jeff burkholderjhijjjjjjjje ee e -

hi my name is jeffrey and i have a measeage for you it is hello and si ne is

E.M. Avila ( -

Comadre what can I say, your work is very touching. You took me to the past when we were just two little girls living on Rousselle street. The memories or your dad and mom were especially touching. I'm so proud of you. What you've done with your talent is great and so important. You've dared to expose yourself and those you love in an important effort to educate us all. After all these years I realize there's much I don't know about you, so thank you for allowing me to enter your glass house where not only have I learned more about you but, I've also been inspired to keep looking into myself.

Thanks for letting me in your home it was an interesting tour. It was great seeing a chicano woman going so far great job. Your an example of how hard does pay off. Thank you!!!

I was really impressed with your illustration of the "American Dream" I feel that many of our people come to the states with that idea and later come to realize that it is not that easy to attain. I have just finished reading Diay of an undocumented worker" by Ramon "Tiaguis" I don't quite remenber the last name but after reading this piece of literature and seeing your illustration I have come to realize that my people do work or worked hard to get to where they are now . To escape the term "MOJADO" is difficult to do and now I value and appreciate the hard work that are people have done to be accepted in the states realizing that there is still a long ways to go. THANKS.

Carolyn L. Sandoval ( -

Hola Amiga mia,
Wow! Although I have been to your house many times, I never visited it from this angle before. You are incredible, brave and talented! The photos were beautiful. The ones of your younger years brought a big smile to my face. Your expressions about your sons maintaining our cultura affected me the most. Jackie, felicidades on your work. Que viva la mujer Chicana!

Veronica - TQS -

Thanks for allowing me to come right into your home...
I loved it! I felt right at home; it was very homely...

Gabriel E. Lopez (HOUSEGUEST) -

I remember growing up people use to tell me that it was better thatI spoke English and not Spanish
because all of the work I would do in school would be in English so it was better gor my education.
People always told me that I could always learn Spanish later if I wanted to. I remember after
school, during the Summer, and on the weekends I would have to listen to my Grandmother's favorite
radio station "Radio Express" (pronounced with a Spanish accent). I didn't care for the music
because I couldn't understand the words, besides it was not AMERICAN like me it was MEXICAN like
Today I strain my ears to listen to a corrido or ranchera song whenever I hear them playing hoping
that maybe, somehow magically, I would be able to understand the words. Then maybe the Spanish that
I was denied could kick in and fill a space that I believe is lacking within me. The part of me that
has never sat down and had a conversation with my Abuelita because I can't speak her language. It's
the part of me that longs for the days when the radio was playing her station and I tried my best to
tune it out. Now I dance Nortenos, Cumbias, Rancheras, I give gritos and try to pretend.

Carlos Lamadrid (I forgot my address) -

Jackie, your work is very personal, warm, deep and understandable. Questioning identity and finding the self is rewarding and at the same time risky and dangerous for the weak. Coming from a poor family and being raised by my grandparents in "Chihuahuita"- little Chihuahua, a small barrio in El Paso Texas, right on this side of the "border". We lived right next, about 15-20 feet from the train tracks, where I remember seeing MIGRA day and night chasing our people in cars, horses, vans, and on foot. I too was "taught" to say "American" when coming back from el centro in Juarez after visiting my grandparent's other home. I would ask why I could not say "Mexican" to the officer and the answer was that if I did I would be arrested and put in jail. From then on I would never forget to carry my "Pasaporte" or "Papeles". I too have worries on whether our history, culture, and struggles will be passed on down our family by those to come. I have two older step stepbrothers and two older stepsisters which do not consider themselves Mexican or Chicano. Their heritage is slowly being lost; Three of them do not speak Spanish and have lost both of their parent's beautiful and humble roots in being assimmilated and Americanized. It is through such touching work as yours that much can be shared or questioned, on our identity, culture, and past.

William Yovanni Marroquin ( -

Going through this web-site touch and surfaced some of my
experiences. Crossing the border in 1985, my mother was told
she would have no problem, because of her white complexion,
the immigration officers would think she was a "Gringa." My
dad also had to play the role of "Mr. Mom" for two years, when
my mom went to worked for a family as a housekeeper. I too
have inner conflicts with my identity, having been born in
Guatemala city, but raised in Los Angeles. Despite this
conflict, I consider myself an American. I also fear the
fact if my kids will retain our mother tongue, Spanish.

PaTrisha Singleton ( -

Thank you for inviting me into your home and into your life.
This is the second time I visited you there. Seeing you
again this way helps me to understand our closeness.
We share many ofthe same photos family and fears.
Love, Trish
P.S. My best to Carlos and the boys.

Douglas Lyons -

I have been like a burg'lar in this site, a fast voyeur no less but nevertheless i have been able to learn so much so fast that whatever i've touched i will return to its place so that i can visit again, and again, and again. Thank you for leaving the door open to me. If by chance you find some strange or exotic fruit on the table then do not worry. it is only a gift for allowing me to visit

Jackie Adkins ( -

Congratulations Jackie!

You've done a wonderful job. Your dedication and ability
to divide your time between the arts, family and
work is impressive. I'm very proud to know you.

Jorge Luis Fiffe ( -

Jac: this is an amazingly beautiful look at self-cultural
identity. i am simply awed by your work. you are an inspir-
ation to those who follow in your footsteps :Jorge

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