Jeri Onopa

Jeri is a direct descendant of Luis Quintero, one of the original Pobladores. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and, when thinking about her childhood, Jeri remembers asking her grandmother, who had beautiful green eyes and light skin, why she had dark skin and brown eyes. Spanish was spoken by both her parents, but English was expected to be Jeri’s first language. As they were considered minorities, being a native English-speaker was supposed to make life easier.

Jeri feels that each person’s spirit pushes them in a direction, leading them to search, and when people learn they are connected to some place, they find themselves embracing it. ‘‘Lots of families don’t know who their grandparents are and they have a desire to know.’’ Jeri says with much respect, ‘‘Once you know this, even if you leave home, home never leaves you and wherever you go, you take it with you.’’