Sandra Calles, PhD

Dr. Sandra Calles is a psychologist, educator, life coach, mentor and activist. Her passion is to advocate for causes she believes in, teach about mental health topics, and guide others, so they may achieve success in their personal and career endeavors.

She has over 11 years of experience as a mental health professional having worked at various mental health facilities. Most recently she was a therapist at Los Angeles Harbor College at the Life Skills Center. While at Harbor College, she helped many students overcome emotional obstacles so they could transfer to universities and meet their career goals. She devotes her personal and professional life to political causes, and activities that promote mental health, women’s issues, the empowerment of Latinas through education, business ownership, financial literacy and political engagement. Dr. Sandra is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning both a BA in Human Services and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She earned her doctorate from Saybrook University in Psychology, where she developed a treatment modality from her research on survivors of sudden cardiac death. The treatment plan known as PROSPER, is an acronym detailing a healing plan that can be applied to survivors of various traumas and is the underpinning for the work she does with her clients..... Continue Reading


Mexican American Professionals: Clarification

The previous two articles I wrote regarding Mexican American Professionals were based on a broad definition of professionals. I used our population with college degrees or higher as the bases for my articles. Since then I have obtained new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to broaden my definition of Mexican American Professionals to include most individual who are employed as doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc. (see the list of professions on the next page to the article)

In 2007 the total white employment for age 16 years and over was 146,047,000.

The total employed persons of Mexican ancestry was 12,908,000, or about ten percent of the white employed population. The total Non-Hispanic white population in 2007 was 199.1 million and for Mexican Americans it was 29.1 million.

If you compare the percentage of Mexican Americans vs. White Professional workers:

Mexican vs White Professional Workers by Percentage 2007

Mexican vs White Professional Workers by Percentage 2007

The chart shows what minuscule portion of employed professionals Mexican Americans occupy. Mexican Americans were only 3.63% of Professionals in 2008 as compared to the total Mexican American vs. white worker population which is about 8.84%. The Healthcare field shows only a 6.69% showing among this professional group.

The following chart is a detailed comparison of the percentage of Mexican Americans vs. White Professional workers. It is significant to note that among professionals Mexican Americans represent only 2.13% of employed professionals as compared to White workers in computer and mathematical occupations while in service occupations such as farming, fishing and forestry they weigh in at 27.3%.

Mexican vs White professional workers detailed breakdown 2007

Mexican vs White professional workers detailed breakdown 2007

The following charts show the distribution of Mexican Americans and White workers by sector.

Mexican American occupation by sector 2007

Mexican American occupation by sector 2007

White American occupation by sector 2007

White American occupation by sector 2007

These charts show the distribution of occupations and it is clear to see the disparities in management and professional occupations. 15% of Mexican Americans are involved in management and related fields where 35% of Whites are professionals. Roughly 24% of Mexican American workers are employed at service occupations whereas less than 17% of White workers are doing those jobs.

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One final note

It is interesting to note that in 2008 there are (0) averages for Mexican Americans involved in the following professions:

  • Funeral directors

  • Financial examiners

  • Mathematicians

  • Actuaries

  • Agricultural Engineers

  • Biomedical Engineers

  • Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers

  • Nuclear engineers

  • Conservation scientists and foresters

  • Physical scientists

  • Sociologists

  • Urban and regional planners

  • Nuclear technicians

  • Directors, religious activities and education

  • Archivists, curators, and museum technicians

  • Media and communication equipment workers

  • Podiatrists

  • Audiologists

  • Health diagnosing and treating practitioners

  • Fish and game wardens

  • Ship and boat captains and operators

Conclusions and Prospects

If you examine the trend for the years from 2007 to 2008 it’s not an optimistic one. In the chart Management and professional occupations the numbers are not moving up from year to year and in some cases the number have gone down.

I have not read any studies that nail down why these numbers are not showing improvement, but there are some writers who do offer some explanations.

Mitchell A. Kaplan in an article for the Hispanic Outlook on March 3, 2009 states that Hispanics face five major social and economic barriers to educational opportunity. They are:

  1. Lack of supportive social and economic resources….

  2. The immigrant and socioeconomic status of their parents.

  3. The lack of parental knowledge of the internal workings of the American educational system.

  4. Inadequate school resources to help compensate for educational disparities.

  5. Weak relationships that Hispanics form with their teachers that tend to undermine their success.

Once again, please note that the above statements refer to Hispanic and not specifically to Mexican Americans.

It is my hope that some of these negative trends turn around.  They are a reminder that great disparities in professional employment still exist between the white community and the Mexican American community.


1. “Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity”, 2007. U.S Department of Labor. Report 1005.   P. 4, 9

2. Household Data: Annual Averages. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employed Hispanic or Latino workers by sex, occupation, class of worker, full-or part-time status, and detailed ethnic group.

Mexican American Professionals Finally Have An Online Home

Mexican American Pro Archives website,, is dedicated to sharing articles and pertinent information on “the silent minority.”

SAN FRANCISCO, May 3, 2009 – Lack of centralized information on “the silent minority” inspired, Humberto Gutierrez, to establish as a resource dedicated to tracking the progress of Mexican American Professionals in the U.S.

The website includes original content from Mr. Gutierrez, a Mexican American writer and educator, but also encourages readers to post information relevant to the topic. Gutierrez “hopes the site will become an archive and resource of information to facilitate the distribution of information which impacts Mexican American Professionals.”

Gutierrez stresses that there is a significant lack of serious research on the Mexican American Professional demographic. He came to this realization about fives years ago after an unsuccessful attempt to find reliable information on the topic.

Gutierrez’s quest for information prompted “The Silent Minority: Mexican American Professionals. An Odyssey in Search of Elusive data.” The article, published in Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine on July 28 2003, discusses the lack of reliable data on Mexican American Professionals.

Since publishing the article, Gutierrez has acquired updated information. Latest numbers from the Census Bureau’s 2007 American Community Survey show that Mexican American college graduates are greatly underrepresented when compared to other Hispanics.

Mexican Americans have and are still relegated to tired stereotypes of drug traffickers, lovers and service workers. The Mexican American community numbers close to 30 million, roughly 10% of our total population. The Mexican American Community is represented by a wide variety of persons including professionals. As a group, Mexican American professionals have been largely ignored by the news media. Recent numbers show that Mexican American College graduates represent only 6.2 % of their total population. This compares with 29.4% for Non-Hispanic graduates.

Mexican Americans are the lowest in educational attainment among Hispanics. Compared with other Foreign Born groups, Mexican Americans do even worse. For example, college graduates from Mexico represent 5.2% of their total population. In comparison, Indian college graduates have a 74.1% representation.

Mexican American Pro Archives ( is dedicated to archiving information about Mexican American Professionals. Creator and administrator, Humberto Gutierrez, was born in Chihuahua Mexico and relocated to the United States as a teenager. Gutierrez has been an educator and writer for over 35 years. Please contact to request more information.

Humberto Gutierrez, Administrator
Mexican American Pro Archives
Phone: 650-738-8584

The Silent Minority: Mexican-American Professionals

At last, some data

Humberto (Tito) Gutierrez

Since I wrote the first article about Mexican-American Professionals, the Census Bureau has created The American Community Survey (ACS). It …”is part of the Decennial Census Program. It is a survey that is sent to a small percentage of our population on a rotating basis. This data was previously collected only in census years in conjunction with the decennial census. Since the ACS is conducted every year, rather than once every ten years, it will provide more current data…” Given this fact, statistical information about Mexican-Americans is much more current and precise.

Why should we care?

From the year 2,000 to the present, Mexicans 25 years and older had the lowest proportion of Hispanics with a bachelor’s degree or more.

Census Bureau 2000 Demographic Profile characteristics: Race, ethnic, or ancestry group.

Percent of Population with a Bachelors Degree or Higher by Hispanic Origin: 2002

Then and now: Have Mexican- American Professionals grown in numbers since 2004?

The answer is yes, but not by much.

  • In 1985 the educational attainment of Mexican-Americans 25 years or older was 5.5%
  • In 1989 it was 6.1%
  • In 2,000 it was 7%
  • In 2002 it was 7.6%
  • During the years 2005 to 2007 it was 6.0%
  • In 2007 it was 6.2%

You may ask; why did the numbers drop from 2002 to 2005?

The reason is that these are percentages of the total Mexican- American population which in:

  • 2002 numbered 25.1 million
  • 2005 numbered 28.1 million
  • 2007 numbered 29.1 million

Between 2002 and 2005 there was an increase of 3 million Mexican-Americans, therefore the growth among Mexican-American college graduates had to increase by that proportional amount and obviously, it did not.

How do percentages of Mexican- American college graduate students compare with non-Hispanic groups? The chart below shows how the two groups compared in 2002.

Census Bureau 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates.

Source: Current Populatino Survey, March 2002, PGP-5

Other years we can compare the contrast between Mexican-American and Non-Hispanic groups that have attained a B.A. or more are:

In 1989 21.1 % of the non-Hispanic group had earned a B.A. or more, compared to 6.1 for Mexican-Americans.

  • In 2,000 24.4% for non- Hispanics and 7% for Mexican-Americans.
  • In 2,002 29% for non-Hispanics and 7.6% for Mexican Americans.

From 2005 to 2007 it was 27% for non-Hispanics and 6% for Mexican-Americans. The percentage of Non-Hispanic white is 29.4 compared with 11.1 for Hispanics and 7.6 for Mexicans.

Foreign born Mexican-American fared even worse. In 2007 Educational Attainment by Mexicans at the B.A. degree or more was only 5.2%.

Census Bureau, Foreign Born Population in the United States: 2003.

Educational Attainment by Nativity, Showing Countries of Birth of the Foreign-Born Population with 1 Million or More: 2007
Educational Attainment by Nativity, Showing Countries of Birth of the Foreign-Born Population with 1 Million or More: 2007

Educational Attainment by Nativity 2007 pt2

What are some reasons for the great discrepancy between Mexican-American and Mexican academic achievement and Non-Hispanic populations?

One possible explanation is that Mexican-Americans are mostly employed in service, precision, production, craft and transportation jobs. This means that both Mexican groups have limited economic resources to fund their college careers. To this point, the Hispanic-Serving Institution Program found in areas which service Hispanics, funds Hispanics who want to attend college. There is a statistical chart entitled “Location of Hispanic-Serving Institutions of Higher Education in the United States by State and Percentage of Latino Undergraduates Enrolled 2003 to 2004”. This data can be found at the National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS Survey 2003 to2004.

One last comment.

It is interesting to note that the level of students in Higher Education (Instruccion Superior) in Mexico for 25 to 30 year olds is 16% of the total Mexican population.

Los Jóvenes en México, Instituto de Estadística Geográfica e Informática. PDF file, starts on P174.


In summary:

We have made some progress filling in the gap between Mexican-American professionals (6.1% in 1989) to (6.2% in 2007) and Non-Hispanics which in 2007 number 27%. At this pace it would take Mexican-American 27 years to catch up with the Non-Hispanic population.


These PDF files are the complete documents, parts of which were used to write the above article.

Getting to Know You Better

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Editorial Reviews
Getting to Know You Better is an article written by a father, among the millions, whose children grew up with their mother. It is about his relationship with his grown daughter.
It is a warm hearted story of emotional growth for both individuals and a good insight into Generation X.
The writer explains how Generation X is not a homogeneous group and how they represent cynical disdainers, traditional materialists, hippies revisited and Fifties Machos.
Read this interesting analysis about parental relationships in the divorce age.

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Mexican Professionals flee Drug War

Mexicans fleeing drug war help El Paso house market

Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:41pm EDT

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – Mexicans fleeing a gruesome drug war are buying homes across the border in El Paso, helping keep the Texan city’s property market afloat despite the worst U.S. housing crisis in decades.

With clashes between rival drug gangs leaving dead bodies on the streets of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez almost daily, hundreds of middle class Mexicans are selling up and moving to El Paso, just over the Rio Grande.

The cities are a short walk apart, but there have been 12 homicides in El Paso this year compared to some 900 in Ciudad Juarez, where law and order has collapsed as Mexico’s most wanted man Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman battles local drug baron Vicente Carrillo Fuentes for U.S. smuggling routes.

The increase in the number of Mexican buyers has helped support El Paso’s housing market. While foreclosures hit a record high across the United States between April and June, El Paso estate agents report brisk sales of houses and apartments in the $80,000 to $300,000 range and broadly steady prices.

“Our market is not a plummeting market compared to the rest of the country,” said Dan Olivas, president of the Greater El Paso Association of Realtors.

“A lot of that is buoyed by a substantial number of people from Juarez coming over to buy properties for security reasons, for fear of kidnappings, extortion, cartel violence,” he said.

Already notorious for a spate of brutal murders of young women in the 1990s, Ciudad Juarez has become Mexico’s most violent city in a drug war that has killed some 2,700 people nationwide so far this year. Some 3,000 troops were sent to the city of 1.5 million but they have failed to stop the chaos.

El Paso real estate brokers say demand from over the border began rising early this year as the drug violence flared, and has ballooned since then as murders, abductions, extortions and car theft have spiraled. Many Mexicans are even paying cash.

Media Professionals adopt charter

Latin American Media Professionals Adopt the Charter of Guadalajara

21-06-2005 (Paris)
More than 200 media professionals gathered in Guadalajara (Jalisco, Mexico) on 14-16 June 2005 to analyze the current audiovisual landscape in the region and come up with concrete proposals for action in 2006/2007.
The Conference, jointly organized by UNESCO and the University of Guadalajara with the sponsorship of numerous Mexican media, was the culmination of a one-year process at the beginning of which UNESCO launched a call for “good ideas and best practices” in local audiovisual production and distribution in the region. Thirty of the one hundred fifteen innovative proposals received were retained and presented in Guadalajara. The initiatives included cultural, scientific, community television channels, community radio stations, itinerant movie theaters, festivals and thematic and local news agencies. They all had in common their success in reaching important publics and delivering to them public service oriented contents.

The Charter of Guadalajara includes a set of recommendations addressed to the media, governments, civil society, universities and UNESCO. Among the most concrete ones addressed to UNESCO is the setting up of an Audio-Platform which, inspired by UNESCO’s E-platform, would gather under one single portal different audio archives for the use of radio stations in search of public service oriented content. To overcome the language barriers, the portal would be divided into different linguistic blocks


Michigan State launches new Ph.D Chicano Studies Program

MSU offers Midwest’s first Ph.D. in Chicano/Latino Studies

Contact: Andy Henion, University Relations, Office: (517) 355-3294, Cell: (517) 281-6949,

E-mail Editor

Published: Sept. 26, 2007


EAST LANSING, Mich. Michigan State University has launched the first doctoral program in Chicano/Latino Studies in the Midwest – and only the second in the nation.

The interdisciplinary graduate degree, which grew out of MSU’s undergraduate Chicano/Latino Studies program, is offered by the College of Social Science. Like many doctoral programs, it is starting small; five students are enrolled for the 2007-08 academic year.

Dionicio Valdes, program director and MSU professor of history, said the Chicano/Latino population is simultaneously the fastest-growing and least-studied major ethnic group in the United States. Hispanics are also the largest minority group at nearly 43 million people.

“This program is important for many reasons,” Valdes said. “But the biggest single reason is that it offers a much different approach to knowledge and an understanding of our increasingly complex society that academia has not yet come to terms with.”

Doctoral candidates will explore the historical and contemporary experiences of Chicanos and Latinos in social, cultural, political and economic contexts. Doctorate courses range from “Latina Feminisms” to “Globalization and Mexican Immigration to the United States.”

The University of California, Santa Barbara, offers the only other doctorate focusing specifically on Chicano studies.

Valdes said Michigan State’s relatively large number of Hispanic students and reputation for Chicano/Latino scholarship make the new doctoral program a logical fit. According to the provost’s office, 1,309 students are enrolled at MSU this fall – a 34 percent increase over 1997.

MSU also has the Cesar E. Chavez Collection, one of the nation’s largest library holdings representing the life and philosophy of the late civil rights activist and the Chicano/Latino community.

In addition, the Julian Samora Research Institute is located on campus. The institute, named after the former MSU professor and pioneer in Mexican-American studies, conducts research and projects targeting the needs of the Hispanic community in the areas of economic development, education, families and neighborhoods.

Rubén Martinez, who became the institute’s director on Sept. 1, said a deeper understanding of Chicano and Latino groups “will contribute to the betterment of the nation as a whole as it moves forward into the 21st century.”

“Previous scholarship has argued that the flow of Mexican and Latino immigrants into cities and states has coincided with their development and prosperity – both the people and the economies have benefitted,” Martinez said. “We see this in many communities in the South today, even though local institutions struggle to meet the educational and health needs of their newest community members.

“The scholarly work of doctoral students in the new program,” he added, “will enhance our understanding of these dynamics and ultimately contribute to the betterment of intergroup relations in this country.”

For more information on MSU’s doctoral program in Chicano/Latino Studies, visit

For more information on the Julian Samora Research Institute, visit

For more information on MSU’s Cesar E. Chavez Collection, visit:


UTEP awarded $13 million

GEAR UP awarded $13 million

The University of Texas at El Paso has been awarded more than $12.9 million from the Department of Education GEAR UP Program to help more than 3,000 area middle school students prepare for college.

Now in its fourth year at UTEP, the program is expected to receive $2.15 million each year during the next six years.

The award will fund UTEP’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) where students from 11 Ysleta Independent School District middle schools are enrolled.

GEAR UP is a federal program that helps youth from low-income communities obtain a postsecondary education through tutoring programs, standardized testing preparation and other programs. The course was enacted as a result of Congress’ passage of the Higher Education Amendment of 1998 where students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to stay in school and apply for college.

Gear Up link

Getting to Know You

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Editorial Reviews

This article is about the relationship between a non-custodial father and his grown daughters. It addresses with humor and candor the delicate dance of a loving, but out-of-the-house father starting a new relationship with his now adult daughters. Humberto’s description of a weekend spent with one of his daughters will make you chuckle and may bring a tear.

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Publisher: Humberto (Tito) Gutierrez (August 31, 2008)

Electroluv is an entertaining and sensuous story about Ed, a character out of the Greek classics, who does not want to know the truth about the relationship between his daughter and his second wife.
The setting is a small town in Northern California, well known for its pastoral beauty and peaceful way of life.

The story documents the struggles and aspirations of Mexican American Immigrants, a group that has largely been ignored by most fiction writers in this country.
Electroluv’s main character, Ed, is a High School Principal in Ukiah California, he crafts a definitive tale of the trials and tribulations of a single parent.

Helena, his beautiful and voluptuous wife, stirs the pot by betraying Ed’s trust.
This is an interesting and important tale that will excite your senses.

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Photo Collections

Selected photos England and Belgium, 2016


Selected photos Filoli Gardens, Spring 2017, Spain, England, and Belgium

You may purchase any photo from the Photos Collections for $.99 each. Please email with your order request.

“…And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while…”

T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Press Release

2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals Now Available

The 2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals is now available on

News from the 2015 American Community Service shows good increases in the numbers of Mexican Americans attending college, achieving educational attainment, and holding jobs in industries including science, management, and business.

• Mexican American college enrollment increased from 18.7% to 18.9% between 2014 and 2015
• Graduate or professional degree attainment among Mexican Americans rose from 2.9% to 3.0%
• The number of Mexican Americans achieving bachelor’s degrees rose from 7.6% to 7.8% in 2015

Despite these numbers, Mexican Americans are still near the bottom of college enrollment and educational attainment by race and ethnicity.

The University of California is proactive in pushing for a greater number of underrepresented minorities. The number Chicano/Latino students attending UOC increased by 2.7% since 2014; this group now makes up 32.3% of admitted university freshmen.

In terms of occupations, the number of Mexican Americans making up part of the management, business, science, and art occupations continues to rise, from 16.6% to 17.5% from 2012 to 2015. Mexican Americans have also seen consistent numbers in the professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services occupations, keeping steady at 10.2% of all jobs in these fields held by Mexican Americans.

These numbers represent continuing gains in higher education and professional jobs for Mexican Americans. For more, visit