Rebecca Orozco – “La Frontera: A History of the Borderlands in Cochise County”
Our region has long been the focus of competing cultures: Native American, Spanish, Mexican and United States. Today’s border is just the latest in a series of boundaries that have divided the peoples who claimed the resources of the region. The history of the dividing line is one of conflict and violence, the legacy of which still affects us today. This program will look at the peoples who have occupied our borderlands through history and their creation of boundaries: cultural, linguistic and physical. Starting with prehistoric cultures whose remains give evidence of cultural borders, through the Europeans who sought to conquer the region for its rumored riches and many souls, to the harbingers of Manifest Destiny looking for land to live out an American dream, we will look at their relationship with land and to each other.
Rebecca Orozco is a third generation resident of the border in Arizona and currently teaches history and anthropology at Cochise College and the University of Arizona. She helped develop a cross-border studies program that allows students from Sonora to study in Arizona and provides training for teachers of English as a foreign language. Her undergraduate degree in anthropology (1974) and graduate degree in history (1987) are from the University of Arizona. She has travelled widely and lived in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala where she worked as an archaeologist.