Sal Castro Passes Away

in The Word is Text by

Sal Castro passed away on April 15, 2013.

I’m sure many of us have seen the movie “Walk Out” or heard of the story behind the east LA walkouts of 1968. In 1968, after many events and acts against Latino students at different schools, teacher Sal Castro decides to take a stand for his students and encourages students to walk out of school. In the late 1960’s East Los Angles high schools were predominantly made up of Latino students.  Students who were constantly put down by their teachers for speaking their native language, students who were encouraged by their teachers to go out and get jobs that are not taken serious. Sal Castro was a teacher who was not okay with the mistreatment of Latino students. He dedicated his career to advocating education and rights for Chicano and Chicana students from the Los Angeles Unified School district. Sal Castro led Latino students to fight for themselves to prove to misjudging teachers that Latino students were not incapable of succeeding and that they should not be prohibited to speak their native language at school. Sal Castro and the Chicano Youth Leadership brought a group of high school students together to show them how Latino students at the time were last on the list based on education, and appeared to be the ethnicity with highest drop out rates. The purpose of Sal Castro and the Chicano Youth Leadership conference was to encourage Latino Students to earn a higher education and to make something of themselves in order to put Latino students in a better place. It is thanks to Sal Castro that Latino students from East LA high schools made a change, a change that ‘til this very day still makes a difference in lives of many current Latino students. Forty-five years later Sal Castro passes away, leaving his honor to many Latino students. He will always be known as a hero to Latino students and will be remembered as the teacher who led his students to success, the teacher who helped his students earn respect from foul teachers who misjudged Latino students. Sal Castro will be remembered through out history as a brave teacher who legitimately cared for his students and the education system, Thank you Sal Castro, thank you for helping students like myself have an interest in earning a higher education.  Castro always said, “Go to school pendejo!”

 

The El Popo Newspaper was first published in 1970 by students concerned about the lack of a Chicana and Chicano perspective in newspapers. As a result, students called the newspaper, El Popo. The paper was named El Popo after the volcano El Popocatepetl. Involved in Chicana/o Movement of the 60’s and 70’s, students saw a connection between the smoke spewing volcano ready to erupt and the student movement ready to engage. Thus, throughout the El Popo’s forty-six years, the name continues to symbolize and to represent the spirit of each generation of students that contribute to the pages of the El Popo Newspaper. Faculty Advisor/Publisher Carlos R. Guerrero, Ph.D.