While in my younger years I did believe that my great-grandfather was the type of man that joins the army because he was bored. I now have doubts that it was not only a decision derived out of having a monotonous lifestyle but also out of desperation. The story is always told as such, “My grandmothers father, Danuario Cuarenta, felt increasingly trapped in his day to day life. Therefore, when he found out that the Christian rebels were recruiting men for combat during the 1920's, he did not hesitate to join the Cristero War.” However, when you consider that the Cristero War was a widespread struggle in many central-western Mexican states against the secularist, anti-Catholic, and anticlerical policies that the Mexican government was trying to implement, you start to reconsider what the actual circumstances for peasants were. A struggle for power always involves shortage of important resources such as food and water. It is not hard to imagine how hunger and manipulation of the church drove men to fight for them.    My grandmother currently owns this certificate of recognition. It was handed down by her younger sister when she found it many years after their father’s death in the house where they were both born and raised in San Agustin, Jalisco, Mexico. It currently resides in my grandmother’s house in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and is hung next to all our family pictures. 

– Cindy Vazquez

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more