Oneyda L. Maestas

2016 Corn Mother Honoree


Oneyda Maestas was raised in the small town of Kim, Colorado, where she was taught to have a strong work ethic and family values, and a strong sense of language and culture. Although her father was punished as a child in school for speaking Spanish, she grew up in a bilingual home where language was encouraged and supported. Ironically, she attended a school where only English was allowed. At age five, she experienced her first language and identity crisis. This is why her educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations. As an English-language learning specialist, she taught on a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and served as an international exchange teacher in Monterrey, Mexico; Badajoz, Spain; and Solola, Guatemala. She has traveled to nineteen countries in North America, Central America, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands. 
In 2013 she became the director of CASA (Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement) House at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. CASA is a resource center that fosters an environment that promotes learning, celebrates cultures, and develops leadership and student success, with a global perspective. She is deeply passionate about ethnographic studies; student assimilation, acculturation, and language preservation; identity frameworks; and global cuisine.



If you have no roots, how can you withstand the tests of the environment that surely come? For me, as an individual with a set of cultural and linguistic roots, if my roots were to die and I was to be stripped of the integrity that lies in those roots, then I would also disappear along with all that is important to me.


Si no tienes raíces, ¿cómo puedes tolerar las pruebas de la naturaleza que seguramente vendrán? Para mí, como un individuo con una serie de raíces culturales y lingüísticas, si murieran mis raíces y si fuera despojado de toda integridad que radica en esas raíces, entonces también yo desaparecería junto con todo lo que me es importante.

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