SALT LAKE CITY — “Preserving Our Cultural Roots Through Family History” will be the theme of a conference and open house organized by Legado Latino, the Hispanic Chapter of the Utah Genealogical Association, and the Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Presented in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Sixth Annual Hispanic Family History Conference will be held on Saturday, 18 October. The conference is free to the public.

“The purpose of the conference is to instruct Hispanics on how to preserve their family history and culture, and acquaint them with the records available right here in Salt Lake,” said Carlos Alvarez, president of Legado Latino. “Until now the conference has always been held at Brigham Young University; but we would like to draw in Hispanic residents from throughout the area, and we would like everyone to learn how to use the valuable Latin American resources of the Family History Library.”

The conference will begin with an opening forum at 9:00 a.m. in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Featured speaker for the forum will be Mrs. Mickey Garcia, noted author and genealogist from Houston, Texas, who will address the topic, “Heritage and Adventure: Why We Do Genealogy.”

After the forum, a series of classes and workshops will be available from 10:15 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. at the Family History Library and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Topics will include how to start a family history, Latin American resources and research helps, hands-on computer workshops, finding records in Spain and Latin America, Spanish resources on the Internet, and Italian and Brazilian research.

Classes will be taught primarily in Spanish, but a few will be offered in English. For a complete class schedule for the conference, please www.legadolatino.org. Attendees at the conference will also receive a free CD entitled, “Latin America Family History Resources,” which includes research guidance outlines and a genealogy software program for recording and preserving family history in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

During the conference two women will be recognized for their contributions to preserving family history and culture. Mimi Lozano from Los Angeles, California, will receive the Distinguished Service Award for her work in the field of Hispanic family history research. She has organized several conferences in the Los Angeles area, testified before Congress and served on national committees to enhance exposure of Hispanic culture. She is responsible for founding the national Web site www.somosprimos.com, dedicated to Hispanic family history, heritage and diversity issues.

Ruby Chacón, a native of Utah, will receive the Cultural Heritage Award in recognition of her efforts to preserve Hispanic culture through her art. Her work depicts the deep, rich history of her ancestors and is an honest look at the images of humanity. Chacón’s oil paintings have been exhibited around the Southwest and in London, Tokyo, and Osaka, Japan. She is the first Latina to exhibit her art at BYU, currently showing in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium Gallery through 31 October 2003.

The following organizations are working with Legado Latino to sponsor the conference: La Alianza Latina, Brigham Young University Center for Family History and Genealogy, Fraternidad Hispana, Mexican Consulate, Mundo Hispano, Pan American Tours, Pete Suazo Business Center, Radio Única, Telemundo, Temple Square Hospitality, University of Utah College of Humanities, Univisión, Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Utah Office of Hispanic Affairs.

“La Alianza Latina is pleased to be associated with the conference,” said Nelsy Delgado, president of the organization. “We hope people will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity offered by Legado Latino and the Family History Library to preserve their heritage.”

The Family History Library maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources with vital records from over 110 countries, territories and possessions. There are over 4000 branches of the library (family history centers) in over 70 countries.

For additional information, please contact Carlos Alvarez at (801) 240-6084, Ruth Gomez Schirmacher at (801) 240-1530, or visit www.legadolatino.org.