A resonant, neglected slice of American history is told for the first time, in graphic-novel format. Featuring art by Jason “Gonzo” Gonzalez, edited by Claire Napier, and script and lettering by me, Henry Barajas: journalist, comedian, author, native Tucsonan, and great-grandson of the story’s main character, Tata Rambo, aka Ramon Jaurigue.
La Voz De M.A.Y.O. is the true story of Ramon Jaurigue, an orphan and WWII veteran who co-founded the Mexican, American, Yaqui, and Others (M.A.Y.O.) organization, which successfully lobbied the Tucson City Council to improve living and working conditions for members of the local Pascua Yaqui tribe. Largely due to Ramon’s activism, both in M.A.Y.O. in and with Model Cities Program, Yaqui were successfully integrated into the expanding metropolis of Tucson: families bought property, roads and sidewalks were built, and sewage systems installed. Ramon and his colleagues even founded a night school to help adults learn English and established the region’s first low-cost clinic to offer birth control.
Untiring in their efforts for equal rights and opportunities, Ramon and M.A.Y.O.eventually secured official U.S. government recognition for the Pascua Yaqui tribe. Local government didn’t give up their plans to bridge Tucson to the west coast and taxpayer dollars to the Old Pueblo’s indigenous people without a fight. The Carter Administration was skeptical of the Yaqui’s eligibility, so it took compromise from Ramon and the tribe. While trying to keep 12,000 families together, Ramon struggled with taking care of his own family life.
Utilizing newspaper clippings, interviews with surviving MAYO members, and Ramon’s authored articles, La Voz De M.A.Y.O. dramatizes the remarkable life and achievements of my great-grandfather—and in so doing, tells the story not just of a single man, but of a family, a tribe, a nation.
It's an honor to follow in my great-grandfather's footsteps. He was a writer in his own right by documenting what was happening in the community and trying to do something about it. I wish I could've finished this before he passed away last October. But I'm confident he was proud of my and my family's effort.
Risks and challenges
There has been a lot of time dedicated to making this first issue possible. We would like to make sure the story is told respectfully by paying the creative team. We are ensuring the shipping rates are accurate, taxes and Kickstarter fees are assessed. The apparel will be coming from a Tucson based print shop: CREAM. The Kickstarter exclusive 32-page comic will be printed for the backers and for the creative team.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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