“Barefoot Heart” author speaks about growing up in migrant farm worker family

Elva Treviño Hart’s memoir is the 2012 One Community/One Book selection of San Antonio Public Library, UT Health Science Center Libraries

Author Elva Treviño Hart, whose memoir “Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child” recalls her experiences growing up in a family of migrant farm workers, makes public appearances in San Antonio.

The author as a child in a photo booth, dark-skinned after a summer working in the sun (Courtesy of Elva Treviño Hart)
Her visit is the culmination of One Community/One Book, a project of the San Antonio Public Library and the UT Health Science Center Libraries.

The book was chosen for its relevance to the South Texas Medical Center and the broader San Antonio community. Many San Antonians are familiar with the backdrop, language and culture depicted in “Barefoot Heart,” and some families have their own stories of working in the fields.

At the UT Health Science Center, where providing culturally sensitive health care is part of the mission, “Barefoot Heart” is a reminder of the obstacles some patients face, as well as a celebration of the equalizing effect of education, notably in math and science.

San Antonio Public Library: Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m., at the Central Library (600 Soledad).

UT Health Science Center: Friday, Feb. 24, at noon, at the Holly Auditorium (7703 Floyd Curl Drive).

Both events are free and open to the public.

Elva Treviño Hart grew up as the youngest of six children in a family of migrant farm workers. Her home was Pearsall, Texas, but the family worked beet fields in Wisconsin and Minnesota many summers during the 1950s as it struggled to make a living.

Hart went on to earn degrees in theoretical mathematics and computer science/engineering, which allowed her to make more money than she had ever dreamed possible. Still, she felt out of place and ultimately left the corporate world. She wrote “Barefoot Heart” to bridge her past and present.

In addition to the San Antonio Public Library and the UT Health Science Center Libraries, “One Community/One Book” is supported by the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and the Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching, both at the UT Health Science Center.

The program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the San Antonio Public Library: For more than 100 years, the award-winning San Antonio Public Library has been a vital center for free learning, knowledge, communication, culture and enjoyment for the whole community. With a world-class Central Library, branch libraries throughout the city, and outstanding online resources, the San Antonio Public Library is as close as around the corner or the nearest computer. For more information, visit www.mysapl.org.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $228 million in fiscal year 2010. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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