Who We Are
Ediciones Lengua y Cultura is a new and independent publisher dedicated to the dissemination of works on Chicano/a cultural and linguistic themes. In 2018 it released one book, in two language versions, and is preparing additional titles to be published in the coming months.
Ediciones Lengua y Cultura is an extension of Instituto de Lengua y Cultura, an organization founded by Eduardo Hernández Chávez, the compiler of Elvira, which for many years conducted research and cultural activities in the Chicano/a community. Among these are The Graphic Sense Project, which examined the development of reading skills by primary-school children from migrant-farmworker and local-resident families. Out of this study came a novel method of teaching reading, developed by Dr. Jan Curtis, and a book of stories, One Day I Lost my Head, written and illustrated by the child authors themselves.
The Instituto was also instrumental in developing a Chicano Art Project for the California State Department of Public Health that was carried out by silk-screen master Malaquías Montoya. Its purpose was to develop a series of inspirational images placed in Public Health offices throughout the state designed to promote not only a positive self-image among Chicano/as but also to foster acts of opposition to social conditions in the community.
Another project of the Instituto was to assist the RCAF – The Royal Chicano Air Force, an art collective in Sacramento – in the formation of the music group Casindio and the production of their LP album titled Casindio: Chicano Music All Day. Accompanying the album is a libretto by Hernández Chávez describing the RCAF, José Montoya’s and Esteban Villa’s poetry put to music, and lyrics of the songs.
The formation of the Spanish immersion charter school Academia de Lengua y Cultura was jointly undertaken by the Instituto and the Chicano/a Studies Program at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque which was then under the direction of Hernández Chávez. The Academia was developed as a Spanish immersion school, designed to promote full bilingualism among Chicano/a youth.