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Tomas Sandoval

UW UMAS/MECHA; Activos Mexicanos; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

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Tomas Sandoval was born in Sheridan, Wyoming on April 22, 1950. In that same year, his family relocated to Washington State and settled in Pasco. Julia Beltran Sandoval was born in Sunnyside, Washington in October 17, 1949.

In 1968, Tomas and Julia were part of the first large cohort of Chicanos recruited to the UW, an effort initiated by the Black Student Union to increase the enrollment of students of color. At the UW, Tomas and Julia were founding members of the United Mexican American Students (UMAS) which later became MEChA. There were also active in the anti-Vietnam War movement.

Starting in 1972, Tomas Sandoval became the Director of Activos Mexicanos�a federally funded Office of Equal Opportunity program that began in 1969. The purpose of Activos was to provide transition services to Chicanos moving to Seattle. These services included emergency housing, employment referrals, translation assistance, and legal support. Sandoval recalls that Activos was in turmoil when he took leadership of the organization. While Sandoval worked to get Activos back on track, he faced stiff opposition and left Activos in 1974.

The Sandovals lived in Olympia for many years working for the state. They became affiliated with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Democratic Caucus. Currently, they reside in Wenatchee, Washington where they continue to work with the he Latino Community and collaborate with the North Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Tomas and Julia Sandoval were interviewed by Josue Q. Estrada at the University of Washington on July 25, 2014.