ELAC professor shares personal stories through book

By George Maldonado

East Los Angeles College Sociology Professor, Dr. Daniel A. Castro’s “Dear Chavela” reading discussed his thoughts about social, political and educational issues.

In his book, there are small stories from the mind of Castro about him growing up as a Chicano citizen. Castro discussed in his reading the challenges of lower class and Hispanic citizens’ lack of support for continuing their education, culture disconnect and way of thinking.

The book is $10 and all proceeds go to providing scholarships for students. “We need to keep (youth) in school,” said Castro.

He is a former radio host, who was on air for 16 years for the Sancho show. This program was hosted on Saturday nights for six hours.

It’s there where he let all his opinions speak, along with a cast of co-workers. Castro was given the nickname Sancho on radio, and discussed topics from a personal view, even if it was the unfavored view.

He had fun on the radio, and didn’t care how others felt about his opinions.

His stories in his book can be fun, but can also be serious and cover important issues talked about in the news. When it came to the Gulf War, Castro didn’t hold back his ideas on how it should be handled.

According to Castro, he raised the questions on approaching war by sending the nation’s youth, and in his view about the amount of more poor class citizens at war. The equality of lower class compared to the higher class needed to be equal.

Castro said the way his book is formatted in short stories was something that according to Castro could get students to read more. He expressed that students don’t always want to read enormous books, and then have to write about what they read.

He understood that maybe if the book was smaller, it could be a more interesting and enjoyable read. According to Castro, the book was published to get non-readers to read.

When it comes to the Chicano education in the United States, Castro said there is, “Not one Chicano college.”

According Castro continued to say, it’s important the community understands that as a whole, it needs to be a lot more aware of the importance of its youth’s education.

Castro said with the right determined teachers, professors and counselors, students can get the classes they need to finish school successfully.

The focus of his writings have been to share how things can be changed for the better within communities and education.

The reading was hosted by the Associated Student Union at the S2-Recital Hall on May 9.

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