The first Filipino immigrants in California were the subject of the digital archive unveiled at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in the United States last April 9. 

The digital showcase, titled “Watsonville is in the Heart,” aims to honor and uplift the history of the first wave of Filipino migrant farmworkers and their families in the US, who arrived at the beginning of the 20th century.

The community archive features original documents, photos, family artifacts, and oral history recordings, which give an insight into the lives of Filipinos workers in the city’s Pajaro Valley.

A panel discussion titled “Women of the Pajaro Valley” was also organized to recognize three women community members at the forefront of the project – Juanita Sulay Wilson, Eva Alminiana Monroe, and Antoinette DeOcampo Lechtenberg.

“Watsonville is in the Heart” was spearheaded by Dioscoro “Roy” Respino Recio, Jr., who is the founder of the Watsonville community organization, The Tobera Project, in partnership with the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).

The archive’s name was inspired by the novel “America is in the Heart” by Filipino American immigrant poet and writer Carlos Bulosan.

Learn more about the exhibit by clicking on this link: https://wiith.ucsc.edu/

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Image credit: Watsonville is in the Heart Official Website