Tour of San José II

Today we gave a tour of San Jose II to a group of community leaders including Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes and Dean Michelle Addington from the The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. We are grateful for their support of our work. 🙏🏾


(Re)claiming Memories needs you!

Help us preserve Cementerio San JosĂ©! 

We are currently looking for volunteers to help with the following:

1. Cemetery Cleanup

2. Genealogical Research

Contact (Re)claiming Memories at for more information.

Ciclos: Rebirth, Migration and Placemaking in the Americas

Good Morning Friends,

We are officially announcing our Spring Symposium titled, “Ciclos: Rebirth, Migration and Placemaking in the Americas.” It will take place March 11-12, 2021. We are so excited to create another space for a continuation of our Fall conversation. This time, however, we would like to center on the living. Read below our statement:

With the final days of winter, the Monarch butterfly leaves its Mexican roosts during the second week of March. The Monarchs fly North and East looking for milkweed plants on which to lay their eggs. Having survived a long and arduous Southward flight in the Fall, they have managed to escape predators and other hazards along the way. These surviving Monarchs are the ones that are destined to produce a new generation.

The migrating females lay eggs on the milkweed plants they find as they fly, recolonizing the southern United States before they die. The first spring caterpillars hatch and metamorphose into orange and black adults. These newly emerged Monarchs, the offspring of the butterflies that made the Fall journey, recolonize their parents’ original homes. Over the summer there are three or four generations of Monarch butterflies, depending on the length of the growing season. Furthermore, the new generations make the trek back to Mexico in the Fall. They arrive just in time for DĂ­a de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. This is why Monarchs are believed to be the souls of our dearly departed coming back to the land of living to visit their loved ones. 

Inspired by this miraculous arthropod and its awe-inspiring journey, we have created the symposium, Ciclos: Rebirth, Migration and Placemaking in the Americas. The event will take place on March 11-12, 2020. It is a joint collaboration between The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture and Dr. Andrea Roberts’ Texas Freedom Colonies Project based out of Texas A&M University.

The event organizers have curated a two-half day symposium that will highlight histories of agency, resilience, survival and perseverance. While the Necropolis Politic Symposium in the Fall of 2020 focused on the remembrance of the Dead, Ciclos is meant to celebrate the living—it is meant to celebrate life. Speakers for this event included Prof. Magdalena Nova from the Urban and Planning Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It will also feature a musical performance by Austin, Texas-based band, Cecilia and the Broken Hearts

Please join us for two days of thought-provoking conversation centered around powerful narratives of rebirth, migration, and placemaking across landscapes of memory and across the limits of geospatial dimensions.


Austin Residents: The Montopolis Community Needs Your Support

Dr. Fred McGhee, has generously provided the following template in case you are interested in voicing your support for the Montopolis community’s most current rezoning crisis.

Dear (insert name of city council member),

My name is (insert name) and I am a resident of Austin City Council district (insert district number). I am writing to ask you to vote AGAINST any single-family zoning change requests located inside the Montopolis planning area, especially the six zoning cases that were presented before the Planning Commission at its June 23rd meeting.  The Montopolis community has expressed opposition to these increases in zoning entitlements, and I believe you should support the community’s wishes.  We can do better.

Please consider the following:
1.  The ecology of Montopolis is very sensitive, in terms of both natural as well as cultural resources.  It is a community prone to flooding.  The local environment cannot accommodate the dramatic increases in impervious cover that would accompany these zoning entitlement increases. For instance the impervious cover percentage at 508 Kemp St. is currently less than two percent.  Similar open space currently exists at the other lots.2.  The Montopolis Neighborhood Plan calls for these properties to be zoned SF-3.  Montopolis already has an over-concentration of multifamily, townhouse, industrial, and commercially zoned property, and dearth of properly maintained parkland.
3.  The “Housing” issue is a non-issue. The Montopolis CDC should be in the lead in the development of housing in Montopolis, not profit-maximizing outside interests.
Most important is this:  Montopolis is a community of mostly low-income families.  It is a community that believes in family values.  They should not be pushed or priced out of their own neighborhood.