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Nuestra Palabra Blog/Nuestra Palabra History
Come back every week for more of the history we've made together. We will feature NP alums who made their debuts with us and have gone on to huge accomplishments. You'll also hear from iconic Latino writers who shared the stage with writers from our community. And, of course, we'll feature NP Discoveries, new voices sharing their work for the first time. Viva Nuestra Palabra!
Give us a shout out. Suggest a topic. If you are an NP alum share you NP memories with us.
Nuestra Palabra:
Latino Writers Having Their Say
P.O. Box 41065
Houston, TX 77221

NP Blog

16 Year Old Hopes to Inspire Latino Youth to Enjoy Math Through Origami

by Tony Diaz on 12/12/16

Free Origami Workshop for Latino Youth

Who: Origami expert 16 year old Antonio Diaz, a Junior in high school.

What: Free origami workshop, focusing on Latino youth, but open to all 10 to 16 year olds. Space is limited to 15 spaces.

When: Saturday December 16, 2016, 2p-3p.

Where: Nuestra Palabra Arts and Books, Home of Pancho Clause. 333. S. Jensen, Houston, TX 77003, inside Talento Bilingue de Houston.

Why: This is a great chance for students to learn how to make unique Christmas gifts and also begin fostering an appreciation for Math.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to rsvp to secure a participant's space. Send the child's name and age, and the parent or guardian name and cell phone number to or call (713) 867-8943.

All participants must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Houston, TX. Monday, December 12, 2016.
Last year, 16 year old Antonio Diaz was a Sophomore taking a Calculus class, tutoring Seniors.

Of course, his school is known for Science and Math; however, it is rare for Sophomores to be helping older students, and it also turns out, it might be rare for Latino students to be focused on pure Math.

When Antonio attended one of his first Math Competitions, he  was once asked if he was really Latino. He answered, "Yes, "I'm Chicano and Chileno, why?" The other student responded, "There just aren't that many Latinos who come to this."

"I realized early in school that other students didn't love Math the way I do," Antonio added. "I get a lot out of figuring out complex Math. It's an intellectual adrenaline rush for me to figure out a complicated problem."

Antonio's father, writer and activist, Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, said, "It was a bit of a heart-break finding out he loves numbers more than he loves words. But it's great to see him find his passion, to excel academically, and to want to inspire others."

Antonio traces his love of Math to when he was 6 years old and taught himself origami from a book his father bought for him. His father intended for them to learn the ancient Japanese art of folding paper together, but his father gave up.

"One day, I came home and found a swan made out of paper on the kitchen table," the elder Diaz added. "I asked Antonio if he had made it at school. He answered that, he had learned to make it from the  book I  gave him. It was amazing to watch him concentrate and follow the steps. He has a gift for it. I am proud that he wants to share it."

Antonio is set to graduate in May of 2018, and he hopes to attend MIT, Stanford, or  Cal Tech to study Bio-Engineering. He plans to pursue an advanced degree after that.

"When I found out my father was starting Nuestra Palabra Arts and Books, I thought this would be a great way to do complete community service hours for my school and also maybe inspire more Latinos to think of Math differently. Origami taught me how patterns and proportions function, which is a part of Math, but at the very least it's a great exercise in concentration, and you can also make some gifts that family members will love."

The class is focused on Latinos because the instructor is Chicano/Chileno, the book store carries Latino books and art, and it's held at the Hispanic Community Center-Talento Bilinge de Houston.

However, this is open to everyone. This is a class on diversity because a Chicano/Chileno youth has a passion for a Japanese art form, and he also speaks English, Spanish, and Turkish.

Space is limited to 15 spots for youth from 10 to 16 years of age.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to rsvp to secure a participant's space. Send the child's name and age, and the parent or guardian's name and cell phone number to or call (713) 867-8943.

All participants must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Click here for NP Arts And Books Christmas Schedule.

This is a shortened link to this post:

You Defeated a Bad Textbook. Now Unite to Create a Great One: The Mexican American Studies Tool Kit

by Tony Diaz on 11/21/16

Thanks to your support Democrats & Republicans on the Texas State Board of Education voted unanimously to reject the racist textbook submitted for possible inclusion in Texas schools. They also voted to re-open Proclamation 2018, which calls for culturally relevant textbooks. Now, we unite once again to oversee the creation of a great book that will make our community proud and help school districts inspire our youth with their culture & build bridges to those who want to know more about us.

You Defeated a Bad Textbook. Here Comes a Great One.

When we first fought for Proclamation 2018, by which the Texas State Board of Education invited the submission of textbooks for Mexican American Studies, we counted on large, mainstream publishers to dive in as they do for other subjects.  However, they were not interested. Instead, a former Texas State Board of Education member used her experience and knowledge of the system to submit what turned out to be the terrible textbook all of America has heard about and you helped us defeat.

We've learned from her mistakes. And this time, we are taking matters into own hands.

I'm happy to announce the launching of Nuestra Palabra Books (NP Books). This Indiegogo campaign is to raise the $30,000 necessary to write, edit, submit for Proclamation 2018, and publish the textbook: The Mexican American Studies Tool Kit (The MAS Took Kit) to ensure that at least one great MAS textbook is considered for Texas class rooms.

NP Books will also be a resource to help independent publishers, university publishers, and yes, even large mainstream publishers to submit texts. Ideally, there might be up to 5 textbooks for review this time around.


Leading Scholars & Writers Unite for the MAS TOOL KIT.

Our textbook will include the work and insights of the leading scholars in Mexican American Studies as well as voices from our community. The MAS TOOL Kit will be created by:

  • Leading scholars in Mexican American Studies, Ethnic Studies, History & Literature
  • Nationally published authors, essayists, and new voices
  • Voices from deep in our community
  • Activists
  • Workshops for teachers and administrators
  • Oral histories

Start to Finish

Your donation will help us write and edit a great Mexican American Studies textbook for use in high schools. This fund will also help us go through the complicated steps to submit a textbook for consideration, to revise the text based on feedback from the Texas State Board of Education, and also public hearing and testimony.

The intent to submit a textbook begins in January 2017. The final book will be voted on in July. Full funding of this Indiegogo Campaign will ensure that we not only submit at least one great book for consideration, but that at least 1,000 copies are printed.


Other Ways You Can Help

Please donate, and spread the word far and wide. Share our campaign via social media, mainstream media, and word of mouth.


About Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, Director Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say

  • Founder of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, which has promoted Latino Literature and literacy since 1998.
  • Organized the 2002 - 2007 Houston Latino Book and Family Festivals, largest book fairs in Texas.
  • Leader of the Librotraficante Movement, which, when Arizona banned Mexican American Studies in 2012, organized the Librotraficante Carvan to smuggle the banned books back into Tucson. Since then the group has fought for ethnic studies and intellectual freedom, especially in Texas.
  • The first Chicano to earn a Master of Fine Arst in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, Diaz is also award-winning novelist, essayist, and editor.
  • Diaz is  a professor of Mexican American Studies
  • Diaz hosts the NP Radio Show and is a panelist on "What's Your Point?" live 5:30 pm Thursdays on Fox 26 Houston.
To donate: Click here.

April 29, 2015 Tweet Sheet

by Tony Diaz on 04/29/15

April 29, 2015 Tweet Sheet





Happy Birthday to us!!!! 17 years of Nuestra Palabra

by Tony Diaz on 04/22/15

17 years of Nuestra Palabra


On Wednesday, April 22, 1998, Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say convened for the first time.


Our first literary showcase took place in the party hall of Chapultepec Restaurant, in Houston, Texas.


People told us that no one would come. People told that us that our community was not interested in books. People told us that there were not enough Tejan@, Latin@, or Chican@, writers for us to even hold more than one showcase.


It is a pleasure and an honor that 17 years later, we are still proving everyone wrong.


It has been thrilling to see our community come together to share our stories.


It has been powerful to watch us unite to defy all the odd and shatter records never before imagined.


We began as a monthly reading series featuring writers from our community, from our familias, presenting their writing, their stories, their poetry, in English, Spanish, and Spanglish.


Together, we have unleashed thousands of new voices who shared the stage with nationally published authors like Dagoberto Gilb, Sandra Cisneros, Carmen Tafolla, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Jimmy Santiago Baca, just to name a few national stars who went on to become our familia.


We have created more published Latino authors and more Latino MFA’s than even the University of Houston Creative Program.


Together we have created the number one rated Latino Literary radio show in the state: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say ON THE AIR, broadcasting at 100,000 watts on 90.1 FM KPFT, Houston, Texas since 2002.


We organized the largest book fairs at the time in the state, with the Houston Latino Book and Family Festival attracting over 30,000 people to the George R. Brown Convention Center.


And then in 2012, when Arizona dared to ban our History and Culture, we called upon our literary familia to unite to organize the Librotraficante Caravan to smuggle the books banned by the state back to the students in Tucson, our familia de Arizona, who inspired us with their courage and tenacity.


We are honored represent our community that humbly started in the Party Hall of Chapultepec restaurant throughout the South West, throughout the nation, and throughout Texas as we spread Mexican American Studies so that every familia can be inspired by our culture and history.


We thank all of you for your support as we enter our 18th year of service to our community.


We truly appreciate you lending your time, energy, and genius to Nuestra Palabra.


And we promise to keep working hard to spread Our Word to every corner of the State, the South West, and the Nation.


Happy 17th Birthday, to our entire Nuestra Palabra Familia


Warmest regards,


Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante,


Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say

NP Meet and Greet Fundraiser with Lalo Alcaraz

by Tony Diaz on 08/29/14

The Border Convo Tour Comes To Houston!

Chill out with legendary cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, before his cartoon BORDERTOWN is released on Fox.

You can also support Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

East End Studio Gallery

708c Telephone Rd
Houston, TX 77023

$25 Donation: Meet and greet with light appetizers & a round of spirits.

$100 Donation Sponsor: Listed in publicity, acknowledged that evening, and thanked thanked thanked:


"Lalo Alcaraz is probably the most prolific Chicano artist in the nation, according to this self penned bio. This award-winning joker has spent two decades chronicling the political ascendancy of Latinos in America and pushing the boundaries of Chicano art.

"Currently a writer and consulting producer on the upcoming animated Fox TV show "Bordertown," he is also the creator of the first nationally-syndicated, politically-themed Latino daily comic strip, “La Cucaracha,” he co-founded the political comedy troupe Chicano Secret Service and he co-hosts the infamous “Pocho Hour of Power” on KPFK in Los Angeles (90.7 FM).

"Lalo also teaches at Otis College of Art & Design in L.A. Alcaraz has won 5 So Cal Press Club Awards for Best Editorial Cartoons. His new book, with Ilan Stavans, "A Most Imperfect Union" is a New York Times Editor's Pick. Rumor has it he was actually born here."

More info on Lalo:

Political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz teams up with Seth Macfarlane on 'Bordertown'

Lalo doing a TEDxSoCal Talk

The Lalo Flagship:

Here's a shortened link to this blog post for your texting and posting convenience:

NP Blog Schedule. Come back for posts by:

Tuesday, June 3: Alvaro Saar Rios

Tuesday, June 10: Russell Contreras

Tuesday, June 17: NP Discovery.    First publication: Karina Quevedo

June 24: Carolina Monsivais

July 1: Lupe Mendez

July 8: Loida Casares

July 15: Ices Fernandez 

July 22: Xavier Garza

July 29: NP Discovery. Welcome a   new voice: Luis Ochoa

August 19: Zelene Pineda Suchilt

We're kicking off this point in our journey with this essay in the Huffington Post:

Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say
Links:     Librotraficante        MASTexas