The Benson Latin American Collection

Manuel (Chaca) Ramírez Photographs, 1964-1982

Descriptive Summary

Creator Ramírez, Manuel, 1947-
Title Manuel (Chaca) Ramírez Photographs
Dates: 1964-1982
Abstract Photographs and slides document Mexican American barrios, civil rights activities, including the Texas Farmworkers' march of 1977 and the East Austin Boat Race controversy, and Chicano arts and artists.
OCLC Record No. 22870067
Extent 1,360 slides and 32 prints
Language English and Spanish
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Photographer and civil rights activist Manuel (Chaca) Ramírez (1947-) was born in Laredo where he began his photographic career in the 1960s. Ramírez studied photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin. In the late 1970s, he documented several examples of Chicano activism; in the 1980s, he recorded the work of Mexican American artists Amado Maurilio Peña, Jr. and Consuelo (Chelo) Gonzalez Amezcua.

Scope and Contents Note

Collection consists of 875 images that document activities and environs of Mexican Americans in Texas. Photographs of Laredo, Texas, in the 1970's show people of Laredo in their surroundings, and the contrasts between poverty and luxury in the city. Slides document the Texas Farm Workers' march of 1977 for reform of labor laws in Texas and the United States, protest marches against police brutality, neighborhood activism in Austin, Texas, and a mural project by the League of United Chicano Artists (LUChA) in East Austin. 280 different slides and 41 photoprints show artist Amado Peña and his works; also included are two small reproductions of prints by Peña. 180 images document art works by Chelo González Amezcua. Accompanying materials include lists of slides giving place, date, and names of participants, or titles and dates for art works. Biographical information on Amado Peña and copies of magazine and newspaper articles are also included.



Organized into seven series: 1. Laredo photographs, 1973-1975; 2. Texas Farm Workers' march, 1977; 3. Statewide march in memory of Jose Campos Torres, Austin, Texas, 1978; 4. East Austin boat race controversy, Austin, Texas, 1978; 5. LUChA mural project, Austin, Texas, 1977-1978; 6. Artist Amado Maurilio Pena and his works, 1966-1982; 7. Artist Consuelo (Chelo) Gonzalez Amezcua's works, 1964-1975. Original order as arranged by photographer.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply. Copyright is held by the Ramírez estate.

Index Terms

The Manuel (Chaca) Ramírez Photographs are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries' catalog:
Pena, Amado Maurilio, 1943-
Texas Farm Workers Union.
League of United Chicano Artists (Austin, Tex.)
Laredo (Tex.)--Social conditions--Photographs.
Mexican American agricultural laborers--Texas--Photographs.
Mexican American art--Texas--Photographs.
Mexican Americans--Texas--Laredo--Photographs.
Mexican Americans--Texas--Austin--Photographs.
Mural painting and decoration--20th century--Texas--Austin.
Other Authors:
Pena, Amado Maurilio, 1943-
Gonzalez Amezcua, Consuelo, 1903-1975
Document Types:
Slides (photographs)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Manuel (Chaca) Ramírez Photographs, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory


1. Laredo Photographs, 1973-1975

1 Prints, 1973-1975
[b/w mounted photographs, 27.9x35.5 cm]
Descriptions of the photographs were supplied by the Benson Collection's Mexican American Library Project staff in 1976.
1 Black and white photo of two young boys standing in a puddle of water in the street in front of a small house, 1973
2 Baby with bottle in its mouth, in small plastic tub, placed in front of old door, 1974
3 Young boy stepping onto rocks at water's edge, 1974
4 Old man seated on stump in front of a pile of junk, wearing Stetson, 1974
5 Young Chicano standing at street corner, wall sign reads "Chicano Power," 1975
6 Three children, girl, boy, and toddler, 1974
7 Young woman with child seated on block of wood, 1975
8 Close-up of couple, 1975
9 Young boy with grandmother[?] standing in doorway of ramshackle hut, 1973
10 Woman and man at cafe counter, 1974
11 Couple photographed near telephone booth, 1974
12 Man and woman near white fence, 1974
13 Group of young Chicanos at street corner, 1974
14 Ceramic figurines, four of same mold: the typical peón, seated, arms resting on knees, shaded by large sombrero, 1974
15 Outhouse, 1974
16 View of participants attending a ball; three young women wearing festive ballroom gowns, 1975
17 Participants at a ball, 1975
18 Scene at a political rally[?], 1974
19 Hospital scene: three women near young man lying on bed, 1975
20 Funeral scene: close-up of woman in casket with wreath oand floral arrangements, 1975
21 Close-up of grave markers, specifically those of Vietnam casualties, 1974
22 Highway scene: "Stop Ahead" as seen from inside automobile, 1975
23 Highway scene: "Stop", U.S. officers with vehicles as seen from inside approaching vehicle, 1975
24 Close-up of "Stop" sign, U.S. officers with Border Patrol vehicle parked nearby, 1975
2 "El Cuatro" Photographs, 1975
Note by the artist: "The photographs in this series were taken during the month of March 1975 in the southwest part of Laredo, Texas, en el barrio 'El Cuatro.' In photograph #1 the people living next to the Hilton, on the east side, refused to sell or move. Till this date, July 20, 1978, they still live there."
"El progreso no necesariamente indica el mejoramiento de la gente. Muchas veces es la desaparición de un barrio. La gente es nomas trasladada a otra parte de la ciudad--olvidada."
1 East side of the Hilton
2 Street scene, one block west from the Hilton
3 From the arroyo, two blocks north from the Hilton
4 Three blocks northwest from the Hilton
5 Two blocks southwest from the Hilton
6 Two blocks southwest from the Hilton
7 Two blocks southwest from the Hilton
8 Children standing in front of their home two blocks west of the Hilton


2. Texas Farm Workers' March, 1977

3 Texas Farmworkers March from San Juan, Texas, to Austin, Texas, February 26-April 4, 1977
1 1. Copyright notice. This slide must be shown first if slides are to be projected.
2. 400 mile route from San Juan, Texas, to Austin, Texas.
February 26-April 4, 1977
3. First day of the march was cold and windy. San Juan, Texas, 26 February
4. Entering Donna, Texas, 26 February
5. Through downtown Weslaco, Texas, 26 February
6. On the road to Kingsville, Texas. Portable toilet attached to back of truck was used by the ladies on the open plain
7. Mayor of Kingsville greets marchers outside of Kingsville city limits, 5 March
8. Through downtown Kingsville, 5 March
9. Priest gives "la bendición" outside church in Corpus Christi, 12 March
10. Through downtown Corpus Christi, 12 March
11. State Representative Gonzalez and State Senator Truan with farmworkers in Corpus Christi, 12 March
12. Dr. [Hector P.] Garcia, founder of G.I. Forum, addresses rally in Corpus Christi. Antonio Orendain, leader of TFW march, looks on, 12 March
13. On the road to Gregory, Texas, 12 March
14. In Gregory, owner of small grocery store, with hand raised, offered cold soft drinks to the marchers, 13 March
15. Lady in the middle marched in the 1966 farmworkers march to Austin. On the way to Taft, Texas, 13 March
16. The sun was a constant companion throughout South Texas. Near Mathis, Texas, 14 March
17. Women would sleep in the back of a red truck that accompanied the march from San Juan
18. On to George West, Texas, early in the morning, 16 March
19. In George West, 16 March
20. Along the march route people from small communities would donate warm food. Between George West and Three Rivers, Texas, 17 March
2 21. Señora Salaz resting, 17 March
22. Blisters: the result of walking 15 miles a day on the hot pavement, Señora Salaz, 17 March
23. Entering Three Rivers, Texas, 17 March
24. Early morning in park in Three Rivers, 18 March
25. Fields of Texas bluebonnets greeted the marchers along the way, 18 March
26. Entering Cambelton, Texas, 19 March
27. Orendain conferring with Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall in Austin as Estela Salinas and Joe Uriegas listen, 19 March
28. Near Pleasanton, Texas, 20 March
29. Entering Pleasanton, 20 March
30. Orendain and wife, Raquel, on the road to San Antonio, 20 March
31. Prayer given by Rev. Sostenes at end of day's march, 20 March
32. Men would sleep in a yellow bus that accompanied the march from San Juan, 21 March
33. Preparing breakfast before marching into San Antonio, 22 March
34. San Antonio can be seen in the distance, 22 March
35. Entering San Antonio city limits, 22 March
36. Marching through barrio near Mission Espada, San Antonio, 22 March
37. Marching into Mission Espada, 22 March
38. Doctor and nurses check marchers in Mission Espada, 22 March
39. Marching out of Mission Espada towards downtown San Antonio, 26 March
40. Near downtown San Antonio on the way to the Alamo, 26 March
3 41. Arriving at the Alamo, 26 March
42. Rally at the Alamo. Lady from Detroit speaks, 26 March
43. Out of San Antonio on the way to Austin, 27 March
44. Father Peña offers a prayer at the end of the march for that day outside of San Antonio, 27 March
45. Eating on the road to Austin near Selma, Texas. There was no heat to warm food and no spoons. Noon, 28 March
46. Later that same day, in the evening, people from Selma prepared a big supper for the marchers at Martin Sada's ranch, 28 March
47. After supper, the marchers enjoyed themselves, 28 March
48. On the way to New Braunfels, 29 March
49. Resting by the side of the road, 29 March
50. The road seemed endless but it was closer to Austin, 29 March
51. Marchers eating under overpass south of San Marcos, 29 March
52. On the way to San Marcos, Texas, 29 March
53. Dr. Garcia greets marchers in San Marcos, 29 March
54. Nurse checks feet of Sra. Salaz in San Marcos, 29 March
55. Bishop Harris from the Austin Diocese welcomes the marchers, 30 March
56. A passerby contributes money to Orendain, 30 March
57. Marchers rest inside bus, 31 March
58. A family in Kyle invited the marchers for lunch, 31 March
59. Don Jose, 63 years old, was the oldest person on the march, 31 March
60. Last campout, early morning before marching into Austin, 1 April
4 61. Last day of the march on the outskirts of Austin, 1 April
62. Singing on the march, 1 April
63. First graders from Zavala Elementary School in Austin join the march, 1 April
64. Austin city limits, 1 April
65. Marching to St. Edward's University where marchers stayed for three days, 1 April
66. Mariachis performed for the marchers on Saturday at St. Edward's University, 2 April
67. Rally in St. Edward's gym before marching to Capitol, 3 April
68. Leaving St. Edward's, 3 April
69. Marching down Congress Ave., 3 April
70. Approaching downtown Austin, 3 April
71. Representative Gonzalo Barrientos welcomes marchers, 3 April
72. Finally the Capitol seems near after marching 400 miles, 3 April
73. Last steps of the march, 3 April
74. Orendain speaks at the rally on the Capitol steps, 3 April
75. On the way to see Gov. Brisco, 4 April
76. Breakfast, coffee and sweet bread, being served at the Governor's Mansion, 4 April
77. Gov. Brisco and his wife talk with marchers, 4 April
78. Marchers talk with Miss Jurajda's first grade class at Zavala Elementary School in Austin, 4 April
79. Orendain testifies before Senate subcommittee hearing, 4 April
80. Don Jose and I [Ramírez] on the march, 18 March 1977
Texas Farmworkers March from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C., June 18-September 5 (Labor Day), 1977
5 81. Copyright notice. This slide must be shown first if slides are to be projected
82. With the Texas State Capitol in the background, the marchers proceed down Congress Ave. on their way to Washington, D.C., some 1,400 miles away, 18 June 1977
83. On the outskirts of Austin going towards Bastrop, 18 June
84. At the end of marching 20 miles the first day, a sister from San Antonio says a prayer, 18 June
85. At the end of the second day of the march, people from Smithville donated food, 19 June
86. Entering La Grange, Texas, early in the morning. The marchers would start walking as early as 5:00 AM, 21 June
87. Marching towards Houston, 24 June
88. Julio takes care of a blister from one of the marchers, 24 June
89. Marching into Houston, 25 June
90. Rally in Houston's Moody Park, 26 June
91. Marchers slept for several nights in a Beaumont, Texas, motel. The proprietor donated the space, 1 July
92. On the way towards the Louisiana state border near Orange, Texas, 2 July
93. Crossing the Sabine River by bus. The Texas-Louisiana border marker is in the distance, 2 July
94. Marching through Texas was like walking in your own backyard. The first day that marchers ventured outside of Texas, they were apprehensive. Marching into Vinton, La., 2 July
95. Marching into Lake Charles, La., 3 July
96. On July the 4th the marchers only walked about five miles. Don Jose and Don Claudio refresh their feet in Lake Charles, 4 July
97. On the road to Morgan City, La., 10 July
98. Don Claudio's feet demonstrate the rigors of the march. Patterson, Louisiana, 10 July
99. Passing a big tugboat by the side of the road. Outside Thibodaux, Louisiana, 12 July
100. On the road to Raceland, La., 13 July
6 101. Preparing for bed in Raceland, La. Mosquito netting was needed in Texas and Louisiana, 13 July
102. On to New Orleans, Louisiana. Outside city limits, 14 July
103. Jovita, L.V.N. on the march, attends to Ramon Mata who suffered from heatstroke, 14 July
104. Crossing over the Mississippi River into New Orleans, 14 July
105. The marchers were treated to breakfast by a priest from New Orleans, 15 July
106. Marching by the French Quarter in New Orleans, 15 July
107. Rally outside City Hall in New Orleans, 16 July
108. On the way to Mississippi, crossing Lake Pontchartrain, 17 July
109. In Mississippi, 17 July
110. Rally in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 17 July
111. First day marching into Mississippi, near Poplarville, 18 July
112. Marchers were arrested by sheriff's deputies from Poplarville for obstructing traffic, 18 July
113. Marchers pray outside the Poplarville courthouse and jail after being released. Toka, an American Indian, and myself [Ramírez], a Mexican American Indian, were jailed for two hours, 18 July
114. On the way to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, it rained all day, 20 July
115. In Hattiesburg a black civil rights worker gave the flag of Mississippi to the marchers, 20 July
116. A nurse from Hattiesburg and a paramedic, Damon Hartley, from Detroit, Michigan, attend to the feet of Don Jose. His feet were infected and full of blisters, 21 July
117. Alabama, 26 July
118. Marching into Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Law officers were very cooperative, 29 July
119. Marching by the School of Law on the University of Alabama campus, 29 July
120. On the way to Birmingham, Alabama, 30 July
7 121. Marching into downtown Birmingham, Alabama, 31 July
122. Farmworkers attending mass in Birmingham, 1 August
123. Marchers riding on the breen bus, "El Pepino." The bus would take the marchers from the point where they had left walking to the place where they would shower or sleep. The next day the bus would take them back. Birmingham, 2 August
124. On the way to Atlanta, Georgia, 2 August
125. Georgia
126. Meeting in front of Martin Luther King grave in Atlanta, 6 August
127. Marching in downtown Atlanta towards the State Capitol, 6 August
128. Rally on the steps of the State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia, 6 August
129. At the city limits of Athens, Georgia, before marching into the city, 8 August
130. Hipolito and family in Athens, Georgia. On this morning Hipolito's wife left for Washington, D.C., to have her baby, 9 August
131. Looking over the map of Greenville, S.C., in a park near Hartwell Dam, 10 August
132. Marching into Greenville, S.C. Grey bus, "El elefante," carried medicines and water, 11 August
133. Marching into Spartansburg, S.C., 12 August
134. Mule wagon in Spartansburg, S.C., 12 August
135. Marching into Charlotte, N.C., 15 August
136. Rally in Downtown Charlotte, N.C., 15 August
137. Early morning sun on the way to Burlington, N.C., 20 August
138. Rally at the State Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., 24 August
139. Shining boots in the evening after showers and supper, Cary, N.C., 24 August
140. Eating lunch outside South Hill, Virginia, 26 August
8 141. Don Jose looking at a tobacco plant, South Hill, Virginia, 26 August
142. Sleeping outside in South Hill, Virginia, 26 August
143. The signs would indicate that Washington was getting closer. Petersburg 9 miles, Richmond 31 miles, Washington 138, 28 August
144. Mass by the side of the road near Petersburg, Virginia, 28 August
145. Passing by a tobacco company in Richmond, Virginia, 29 August
146. Marchers passing by a mileage sign, 30 August
147. Sostenes family portrait, Richmond, Virginia, 30 August
148. Star Wars movie sign in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1 September
149. Getting closer to Washington, 3 September
150. "Chuy" from Chicago sings for marchers outside Alexandria, 4 September
151. Alexandria city limits, 4 September
152. Washington 2 miles, 4 September
153. Morning meeting before the march to the Capitol, 5 September
154. Entering the District of Columbia, 5 September
155. Marching towards the bridge over the Potomac River, 5 September
156. Crossing the Potomac, 5 September
157. Marching by the National Capitol, 5 September
158. Marching by the White House, 5 September
159. Sra. Martinez speaks at the rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial, 5 September 1977
160. Me [Chaca Ramírez] outside Birmingham, Alabama


3. Statewide March in Memory of José Campos Torres, 1978

box folder
4 1-4 Statewide March in Memory of José Campos Torres, 1978
[80 slides]
No item description is available for these photographs. They may be viewed at the Benson Collection.


4. East Austin Boat Race Controversy, 1978

Note by the artist: "As a photojournalist I record on film the events that people make. For two years I followed the East Austin vs. Boat Race controversy.
The issue as I saw it was boat races on Town Lake and some neighborhood residents objecting to the noise, heavy traffic in their neighborhood and trash being left behind.
When the police precipitated a confrontation with a group of young protestors on Saturday, April 22, 1978, the boat race issue took on a new meaning. Older neighborhood residents as well a outside sympathizers joined the protest.
The boat races were finally cancelled in the summer of 1978 by the action of the city council.
box folder
4 5 1-3. Racing boats of all shapes and colors from all over the country would come to Austin to participate in the annual event.
4-6. Thousands of people would congregate on the north side of Town Lake to watch the boat races.
7-8. After the races were over trash would litter the north side of Town Lake for several days.
9-14. Many city employees were required to bring the Town Lake area back to normal.
15. On one side of the fence stood the barrio residents who objected to the boat races.
16. On the other side stood the police who maintained order.
17. On April 2, 1977[?] a small protest took place on Town Lake. No incidents occured.
18. On April 22, 1978 a larger group of protestors headed toward Town Lake.
19. The police precipitated a confrontation over the issue of getting on the curb.
20. Many protestors were arrested.
6 21. Police Chief Dyson is interviewed by the media after the arrest.
22. A meeting was held at the arrest side to plan another demonstration for the following day. Word had reached the barrio about the arrests and more people arrived.
23-27. On Sunday April 23, 1978, another demonstration was held and more barrio people became involved as well as outside sympathizers.
28-30. The police with flack jackets were in evidence but they kept their cool.
31. The late Father Joe from San Luis Rey Church talks to a demonstrator.
32. Demonstrators present their grievances to the traffic going north on IH-35.
33. Police set up a barrier to prevent demonstrators from getting to the highway.
34. There were tense moments but both sides kept cool.
35-36. East Town Lake Citizens hold a planning meeting before they go to present their case to the City Council.
37-38. La señora Muñoz in July 1978 pleads the case of the East Town Lake Citizens objections to the boat races before the City Council.
39. Barrio residents meet again in August to plan more demonstrations.
40. Lt. Vasquez of the APD discusses strategy with barrio residents over the coming demonstrations.
7 41. Paul Hernandez of the Brown Berets points to the area of the demonstration.
42-44. Conjunto Aztlán plays for a benefit for the East Austin Lake Citizens at Raul's.
45-46. Protest signs ready for the demonstration August 12, 1978.
47-52. Protestors march through the barrio.
53-55. Moving closer to the site of the demonstration.
56-57. The police were in force on one side of the road leading to the boat races.
58. On the other side were the protestors.
59. Paul Hernandez is interviewed by the media.
60. The police keep an eye on the situation.
8 61-63. Conjunto Aztlán plays at the site of the demonstration.
64. Sra. Muñoz gets ready for another demonstration on Sunday August 13, 1978.
65-66. Protestors march through the barrio informing the residents of the issues.
67. Neighborhood residents respond by showing posters on their houses.
68-71. The march continues through the barrio.
72-73. More show of support.
74. Getting close to the protest site in what would be the last demonstration against the boat races.
75-76. The demonstration site.
77. Police monitor from the East Town Late Citizens group shows his sign.
78. Conjunto Aztlán plays.
79. Hasta la victoria siempre!
80. It was a long hard fought battle in which the people won.


5. LUChA Mural Project, 1977-1978

box folder
4 9-12 LUChA Mural Project, 1977-1978
[80 slides]
No item description is available for these photographs. They may be viewed at the Benson Collection.


6. Artist Amado Maurilio Peña and Works, 1966-1982

All art work by Amado Peña has been copyrighted by the artist and may not be copied or duplicated without the written consent of the artist.
5-6 Artist Amado Maurilio Peña and Works, 1966-1982
No item description is available for these photographs. They may be viewed at the Benson Collection.


7. Artist Consuelo (Chelo) González Amezcua's Works, 1964-1975

All art work by Consuelo González Amezcua has been copyrighted by the artist and may not be copied or duplicated without the written consent of the artist.
7-8 Artist Consuelo (Chelo) González Amezcua's Works, 1964-1975
No item description is available for these photographs. They may be viewed at the Benson Collection.