In the Fall of 2021, José-Luis Orozco, internationally known bilingual educator and performer, received a bilingual plaque awarded to him by Bibliotecas Para la Gente: The Northern California Chapter of REFORMA. REFORMA is an affiliate of the American Library Association.
You have been honored with lots of awards and recognitions throughout your career. What does Bibliotecas Para La Gente’s (BPLG: The Northern California Chapter of REFORMA) recent plaque recognizing for your achievements as a pioneer bilingual educator mean to you?
It is a great honor to receive the award from Bibliotecas Para La Gente (BPLG: The Northern California Chapter of REFORMA) for my achievements as a pioneer bilingual educator. Thanks to all of you for the opportunity to present in the libraries of BPLG and REFORMA all over the country for all these years. ¡Viva Bibliotecas Para La Gente! ¡Viva REFORMA! Muchas gracias con un saludo respetuoso para el Dr. Arnulfo Trejo que desde lo alto de los cielos nos mira sonriendo en esta hermosa y noble celebración. [Thank you with a very respectful greeting to Dr. Arnulfo Trejo (REFORMA’s founder) who is smiling down at us during this great and noble celebration.]
Jose-Luis, you are well-known amongst children’s librarians for your dynamic bilingual performances. You have a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. What has that Master’s done for you?
The Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education, along with my B.S. in Development studies from the University of California and my rich background in bilingual children’s music, children’s traditions, and as an award-winning bilingual educator, author, professional singer, songwriter and recording artist have helped me reach audiences of all ages all over the United States and abroad. It has been a very rewarding experience.
Clearly, you are passionate about bilingual education and incorporate languages other than English and Spanish into your concerts. Why should bilingual education be so important?
We are 85, eighty -five million Spanish-speaking people in the United States! It makes us the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world! There are many other languages spoken in the United States which bring us to the term Multilingual-Multicultural Education along with Bilingual Bicultural Education. I have visited schools in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, etc. where children are learning in 3 languages which are English, Spanish and Chinese! Other schools offer English-French, English-German, English-Punjabi, etc., etc. Knowledge is power and the more knowledge, the better!
Languages and multicultural knowledge open greater opportunities for work and better salaries, for the promotion of diversity, for respect and understanding of each other in order for all children to live in communities where there is peace and harmony. ¡Sí, Se Puede!
What’s next for José-Luis Orozco?
More of the same, mientras Dios nos prestela vida. […while God gives us life.] Promoting bilingual-biliteracy, diversity, language, history and culture thru music. More recordings, more books, more live or ZOOM presentations. Stay safe. Cuídense mucho.
¡Paz y Libertad! [Take care of yourselves. Peace and Liberty!]