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Fronteras: ‘Somos Primos’ Connects People To Each Other And Their Heritage

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Websites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe have opened up a wealth of knowledge to people in search of their heritage.

One woman has made it her life-long mission to help people discover their Hispanic heritage.

Mimi Lozano is the creator and editor of Somos Primos, which translates to “we are cousins.” It was originally founded in 1986 as a printed newsletter to promote historic heritage meetings in Orange County, California. Lozano expanded Somos Primos online in 2000.

mimi-lozano-pic-courtesy-FRANCIS-BERTRAND-para-todos-magazine.jpg
Francis Bertrand, Para Todos Magazine
Mimi Lozano, creator and editor of Somos Primos

The website produced 240 issues until it ceased production in December 2019. The issues include articles on the history of the Spanish milled dollar, the origins of certain surnames, Pres. Ulysses Grant’s failed attempt to grant citizenship to Native Americans, and even Lozano’s own personal stories.

“We've been part of this country from the very beginning and we shouldn't feel like we're not,” said Lozano. “And I think that if you do your family history, you find out what your family was all about, why they came here, how they came here, what they had to endure in order to make a life.”

Lozano said she hopes Somos Primos demonstrates that mixed racial heritage is something to take pride in and builds a stronger sense of community.

Somos Primos is donating its archival collection to the University of California, Los Angeles for preservation of its issues. Lozano is hopeful it will also lead to a new era of research in connecting individuals with their roots and embracing their identity.

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1