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Frank and Blanca Martinez

MEChA, El Teatro del Piojo, UFW, Educators

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Frank Martinez was born in Texas. Blanca Estella Garza was born in the same state. Later Frank’s family moved to the Yakima Valley and Blanca’s to the Columbia Valley, where their parents were farm workers. In the 1972 Frank enrolled at the University of Washington and met Blanca when she came to the UW a year later.

Both joined MEChA and were active in Chicano student politics and farm worker support efforts during the 1970s. They were among the principal actors and organizers of El Teatro del Piojo, a bilingual activist theater group that performed throughout the Northwest. Frank and Blanca continued their activism after graduating from the UW. Both are teachers living and working in Pasco, WA.

Blanca Estella and Frank Martinez shared memories of their early lives in Texas and the Northwest, their activism at UW, and especially Teatro del Piojo in a videotaped interview conducted by Oscar Rosales Casteñada July 24, 2006. Video editing by Michael Schulze-Oechtering.  Work on this interview was made possible by a grant from 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax.