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Enriqueta Chavez Papers

Identifier: MS-0438

Scope and Contents

The Enriqueta Chavez Papers (1955-2000) document Chavez's work as a student activist, educator, counselor, and advocate for bilingual education.  Highlights include materials relating to the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán's (MEChA) role in the operation and administration of the Mexican-American Studies Department.  The majority of material dates from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s and primarily details Chavez's affiliation with MEChA, her tenure as a lecturer in the Mexican-American Studies Department, and her early activism. Her papers include correspondence, syllabi, articles, course files, handouts, newspapers, conference material, and reports. The collection is divided into three series: the Groups and Organizations Files (1965-2000), Education Files (1962-1980), and Publications (1955-1980).

The Groups and Organizations Files (1965-2000) include two sub-series, Community Organizations (1969-1983) and Student Groups (1965-2000).  These files document the various organizations and groups Chavez participated in particularly during the mid 1960s to early 1970s.  The Community Organizations sub-series documents Chavez's interest in and affiliation with various community organizations, including the Chicano Federation and Barrio Station. The sub-series, arranged alphabetically, includes meeting notes, announcements, agendas, proposals, reports, and committee files.  The Student Groups Files documents Chavez's participation in MEChA, Las Chicanas, and the Association of Chicana Activists (AChA) mainly during the early 1970s.  Of particular interest are the MEChA junta directives dealing with the Mexican-American Studies Department at San Diego State University.  Arranged alphabetically, this sub-series includes meeting minutes, newsletters, conference material, and announcements from both SDSU chapters and other local and state chapters.

The Education Files (1962-1980) are divided into two sub-series, Bilingual Education (1962-1980) and Higher Education (1964-1980).  The files document Chavez's work as a counselor and educator. The Bilingual Education files document Chavez's counseling work and bilingual education advocacy.  The majority of material dates from 1965 to 1975 and includes materials on teaching techniques, reports, studies, bibliographies, and conference material with a focus on primary and secondary education.  The Higher Education files document Chavez's role in developing the curriculum of the Mexican-American Studies Department during its early years with a focus on Chicana issues.  The files also detail her association with the Chicano Council for Higher Education (CCHE) and the Centro de Estudios.  Highlights include materials for the Chicano Mobile Institute, which trained higher education personnel to recruit, retain, and provide financial assistance for Mexican-American students.  Arranged alphabetically, the files include correspondence, course descriptions, readings, conference material, reports, proposals, brochures, and seminar materials.

The Publications (1955-1980) are organized into two sub-series, Articles (1955-1978) and Periodicals (1965-1980).  These sub-series provide excellent documentation of events, groups, and topics Chavez was involved with and/or interested in throughout her career. The Articles sub-series includes articles from journals, books, and newspapers relating to feminism, politics, the Chicano movement, and demonstrations, especially from 1966 to 1974.  The Periodicals consist of full issues of important activist newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and journals, including La Verdad, The Militant, La Raza, Young Lords, El Grito del Norte, and El Malcriado.  Both sub-series are arranged alphabetically.


  • Creation: 1955-2000
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1965-1975


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Enriqueta Chavez (neé Valenzuela), also known as Henri, grew up in Imperial Valley, California. During her childhood, her family went to Fresno every summer to work as grape pickers. After graduating high school in 1968, Chavez attended San Diego State University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health and Chicano Studies in 1973, followed by a Master of Science in Counselor Education one year later. While a student at SDSU, Chavez helped to found the SDSU chapters of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) and Las Chicanas. She attended the first National Chicano Youth Conference in Denver, Colorado, and became very active in the Chicano movement. In 1974, Chavez began lecturing in the Mexican-American Studies Department at SDSU (now named the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department). As a lecturer, Chavez helped to develop the curriculum of the department. Her classes generally centered on Chicana issues.

In 1975, Chavez began working as a high school counselor for the Sweetwater School District while continuing to lecture at SDSU. She later served as co-chair of the Chicano Council for Higher Education (CCHE) and president of the Association of Mexican-American Educators. Besides promoting higher education for Mexican-Americans, Chavez also advocated bilingual education for primary and secondary school students. In addition, Chavez has won numerous awards for her work counseling and teaching, including Counselor of the Year (1992), Educator of the Year (1997), and the WHO Award (2005) sponsored by the San Diego County Service Center Council. Today, Chavez continues to work as a high school counselor and as a Professor in Counselor Education at National University.


12.51 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian

Arrangement Note

I. Groups and Organizations Files, 1965-2000

1. Community Organizations, 1969-1983

2. Student Groups, 1965-2000

II. Education Files, 1962-1980

1. Bilingual Education, 1962-1980

2. Higher Education, 1964-1980

III. Publications, 1955-1980

1. Articles, 1955-1978

2. Periodicals, 1965-1980

Source of Acquisition

Gus Chavez

Related Materials

Rene Nuñez Memorial Collection, 1968-2008

Carmen Sandoval Fernandez Poster Collection, 1974-1983

Arturo Casares Papers, 1968-2007

Maria Garcia Papers, 1968-1997

Chicano Federation of San Diego County Records, 1968-1980

Chicana and Chicano Studies Department Records, 1968-2003

MANA of San Diego County Records, 1986-2002

Other Descriptive Information

This collection was processed as part of the Chicano Studies Archives Project, made possible by a grant from the President's Leadership Fund.

Enriqueta Chavez Papers
Amanda Lanthorne
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US