This project began in conjunction with the brainstorming of an exhibit being planned for the Lane County Historical Museum around the celebration of the Oregon sesquicentennial in 2009. “Changing Demographics: The People of Lane County” offered an opportunity to introduce the voices of groups not previously well-represented at the museum, and included panels on Native Americans, Jewish communities, Asian immigrants, African American history, and Latino Roots in Oregon.

Dr. Lynn Stephen, distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon, directed the creation of the original seventeen panels used in the Latino Roots portion of the exhibit,  teaming up with Dr. Gabriela Martínez from the School of Journalism and Communication, students, and community activists. Professor Martínez produced and directed the documentary “Latino Roots in Lane County,” which was part of the exhibit. The panels and the documentary inspired additional projects, which Dr. Stephen began developing with Dr. Martínez.

Currently, Latino Roots in Oregon includes an exhibit composed of 20 light weight portable panels containing photographs and stories about immigrant families; a booklet that captures some of these stories and photographs; a sequence course at the University of Oregon; a documentary video; this website with a video documentary gallery that serves as a digital archive. All materials are bilingual in Spanish and English. The Latino Roots Project is administered through the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS). For further information on the project please write to cllas@uoregon.edu

The Latino Roots in Lane County, Oregon, Exhibit Panels were on display for more than a year at the Lane County Historical Museum (January 2009 through March 2010), these seventeen bilingual (Spanish/English) panels (approximately three feet wide and five feet tall) were part of the exhibit “Changing Demographics: The People of Lane County.” The Latino Roots panels feature a timeline of Latino presence in what is now the state of Oregon beginning in the 1700s, maps, demographic information, information about Latino youth, and the stories of various families who came at different times to Lane County from California, Texas, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Chile. A research team led by Dr. Lynn Stephen (Anthropology, Ethnic Studies) and Dr. Gabriela Martínez (SOJC) created the panels. The team was composed by community members and graduate students, including Patricia Cortez, Guadalupe Quinn, Mauricio Magaña, Sonia De La Cruz, Kate Williams, Lukacs Nguyen, and Magali Morales.

Booklet: The 33-page bilingual “Latino Roots: In Lane County, Oregon/ Raíces Latinas del Condado de Lane, Oregon” booklet is available for download here , on CLLAS website and for purchase of hardcopies at the University of Oregon Bookstore. It reflects the content of the original seventeen panels and can be used with classes who view the panels.

Documentary: “Latino Roots in Lane County: Contemporary Stories of Settlement in Lane County, Oregon” is a 33-minute bilingual documentary that uses in-depth interviewing in the tradition of Latin American testimonio and oral history and was made in conjunction with the museum exhibit. It includes video interviews with six of the families featured in the Latino Roots exhibit panels. Producer and Director: Gabriela Martínez. Assistant Producer: Sonia De La Cruz. Research Team: Lynn Stephen, Gabriela Martínez, Mauricio Magaña, Lukacs Nguyen, Sonia De La Cruz, Guadalupe Quinn. Spanish and English with subtitles.

The Latino Roots in Lane County projects were co-sponsored by the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies and the Center for the Study of Women in Society.


The Latino Roots in Oregon Project is an excellent tool that individuals and institutions are welcome to use for educational purposes. The offered materials are:

Latino Roots materials (exhibit panels, booklet, documentaries) are available for use in middle schools, high schools, and higher education institutions in the state of Oregon.