Chia, a chicano treasure in San Antonio

By Chito de la Torre
    To meet Tecihtzin is to fall in love.  At 78 years of age, this storyteller
is one of the Chicano nation's greatests treasures.  And now she's made the
experience of her storytelling tangible with the publication of Chia A
Powerful Recuerdo.
    For Tecihtzin (also known as Herminia Acosta Enrique) this is a book she has
literally waited a liftetime to write.
    "I had written Chia in my heart and in my mind," says Tecihtzin.  "I thought
it was time to put it out."
    Soon you will not only be able to read the book, but also meet and hear the
author.  Tecihtzin will read at the San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair and
Literary Festival on Satruday, November 2 at 3 p.m. in the South Banquet Hall.
 The same day her book premiers.
    "Since the story is about San Antonio it is important that it debut in San
Antonio," says Nacy Rodirguez of Tochtli Publishing, the company behind the
pressing of this book.
    But equally important is the day of Chia's debut.
    "The day of the dead is a great time to introduce Chia the book," explains
Rodriguez.  "Tecihtzin used to tell this story as her ofrenda in the libraries
and universities in San Antonio during this very sacred time of the year."
    In fact Chia is one of the very first stories I ever heard Tecihtzin tell.  I
was transported.  As she told of her little sister Chia, I lived the moments
with her.  I was in San Antonio of the 1920s.  I felt the breeze along the
banks of the San Antonio river just as she described it.
    Chia is based on Techitzin's life, or better said, on how she was forever
changed by the very short life of her baby sister Chia.
    "My little sister Rita (Chia) taught me some very vital lessons," explains
Techtzin.  "They are important for us as a people to progress in our lives.  I
think that for many years our lives have been in a stalemate with negativism. 
If we are to survive as a race, not just Chicanos, we have to change.  I think
it's time now to put it (Chia) out for people to consider that there are very
positve ways of looking at everything that happens to you.   It goes back to
the Nahuatl philosophy where the creator has a dual personality.  We are full
of postive forces but also negative forces and we have to keep balance in our
lives and in the human race.   We must not let the negative powers overpower
the positve.  It doesn't seem tha a little child could teach you that, but
Rita did."
     Now with Chia in print, you can witness the beauty and live the wonder that
is Tecihtzin.
--30-- (printed with permission)