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Latinx History & Culture


The Latinx community had been represented as a minority group on Carver Jr. High campus until 1980. In 1981 the student demographics at Carver Jr. High had a balance shift that saw the Latinx community go from 43% to 51% of the total population (LA Times, 1991). This paradigm shift in the student population remained the same and has continued to grow ever since. The current student population is made up of 90% Latinx, 8% African American, and about 2% other ethnicities.
Latinx culture has evolved to a vibrant mix of various ethnicities among the Latinx community. It is not just Mexican, it is also a combination of Central America and South America. The Latinx community is primarily made up of Mexican-American students or families of Mexican descent, that also includes families from the Central American diaspora, especially countries like El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Additionally, there have been sprinkles of students from Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and other South American countries. Lastly, we must highlight that Carver is also home to Afro-Caribbean Latinx communities from Belize and Honduras, which is special because they demonstrate the diversity and overlapping history of our cultures.
Referring back to 1981, the Carver student demographic had a significant change due to students moving away from the community, but also the new wave of immigrants escaping hardships from Central America (The Guardian, 2018) and making South Central Los Angeles their new home. Families from Guatemala, for example, had to escape the aftermath from their civil war in 1954, which resulted at targeted violence and genocide toward indigenous people. Similarly, in El Salvador families were escaping a civil war and asking for refuge in the United States due to the constant violence and militarized society (The Guardian, 2018). Families from other countries were facing similar challenges and chose the United States — Los Angeles, to be specific — to have a brighter future. They settled down in areas where they could connect with their culture, and enrolled their children in nearby schools, which transformed Carver Junior High into their school of choice.
The same way Carver Junior High had buildings named after African American leaders, in 1991 the community decided to name buildings after Latinx historical figures (LA Times, 1991). The science building was named after Cesar Chavez for his efforts with the agricultural workers movement. Another building after Father Luis Olivares who was a faith-based leader focusing on social justice for Central American immigrants. Lastly, another building after Ruben Salazar who was the first Mexican journalist in mainstream United States media who covered stories of the Chicano community. Up to this day, Carver continues to commemorate these Latinx figures with murals and recognizing the names of the buildings. This sparks an interest in new generations to learn about who these historical figures are. Although they are no longer alive, their legacy continues at Carver Middle School. 
The Latinx community continues to grow at Carver each year. Even though most of the immigration occurred in the 1980s, Carver continues to serve incoming students from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. They have a large group of students who have not reclassified, according to the district’s language proficiency standards, therefore you may hear Spanish speaking throughout the campus with accents from various regions of the world. The cultures are celebrated during the Latinx Heritage Festival, which also embraces all cultures to celebrate and acknowledge the various Latinx communities that exist.
The Latinx history at Carver Middle School se sigue escribiendo cada dia …