I’ve been growing into becoming a ‘wise Latina’ since I graduated from UCLA’s School of Social Work in 1972. At UCLA I was Vice President of the Chicano Students Alliance, and proud to serve under Adel Martinez, President of the Alliance. She was my mentor and later named as the “Best” social worker in the United States by the National Association of Social Workers.
In 1999 I sold my Business, the LBGT Community Yellow Pages, and went to retire in Mexico. I wanted to explore my father’s mixed Spanish and Mexican Heritage. Since my mother is Irish, growing up we did not experience much in the way of Mexican cultural holidays. My father spoke Spanish only to his parents when they came to visit.
Traveling into the Southern tip of the Baja peninsula, I fell in love with a small pueblo of ranchers and fishermen called All Saints, the town of Todos Santos. Here I lived with my partner for eight years while we bought a ruin from the 1800’s and did a major reconstruction job, restoring its original Spanish colonial architecture.
During these years my partner and I installed, among the expatriates and Mexicans of the town, the notion of building non-profit organizations to work with education and health for local children. Now, ten years later, La Palapa Society de Todos Santos (our last effort), is still going strong without us!
I also wrote the first three drafts of my new memoir, When We Were Rebels; Love and Revolution in the 1970s, while in Mexico. And wrote and published a dozen stories and poems about Todos Santos and life as an expatriate. See stories in; The American Herald and the Gringo Gazette, published in Cabo San Lucas, and the El Calendario of Todos Santos.
Having health problems, and missing my community of lesbians, we returned home to Los Angeles in 2007.
Co-founder, Palapa Society de Todos Santos, A.C. President, 2001-2006. First non-profit organization founded in this Mexican pueblo town of 6,000 people. The organization founded a center for its teaching English after school program, its scholarship program for high school and college youth, and bi-lingual library. Co-founder, Lynn H. Ballen.