Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Antonio and Luz Mendez Calvo
Calvo, Antonio and Luz Mendez, 1896-1982
Physical Description: 0.42
Language of Materials:
Abstract: Antonio Regalado Calvo and Maria de la
Luz Mendez Calvo were immigrants from the Mexican state of Sonora. They immigrated to
the San Fernando region of California where they met and married during the Mexican
Revolution. The collection gives a glimpse into the lives of a Mexican-American family
in the Los Angeles area during the mid-20th century.
This collection was processed under a U.S. Department of Education Title V
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Grant.
Antonio Regalado Calvo (1900-1973) was born in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Maria de la Luz
Aguilar Mendez (1896-1982) was born in La Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. Both of them,
independently, moved north during the time of the Mexican Revolution. Antonio and Luz
married in 1926 and after living near downtown Los Angeles for a short time, moved to
San Fernando, where Luz had extended family.
In their first years together, Luz worked in the local fruit packing houses while
Antonio found employment working in restaurants, hotels, pool halls, and later, on Works
Project Administration (WPA) projects. Eventually, the couple started their own business
selling Mexican food to workers in the local packing houses. Working in her home’s
kitchen, Luz prepared tacos, tamales, and burritos, which Antonio (and sometimes their
children) then sold to workers during their lunch breaks.
As the business grew, Antonio and Luz were eventually able to open a small restaurant.
Their restaurant, Las Delicias Café, did not find a permanent location until 1946. By
this time, the restaurant had developed a distinctive Sonora-style menu and a loyal
following. Known for its pure and simple dishes made of high-quality ingredients, Las
Delicias Café was a popular San Fernando restaurant until it closed in the early
Luz and Antonio had four children, who were raised working in the restaurant, waiting
tables or helping out in the kitchen. The family’s primary language was Spanish and the
children learned English in school. Antonio gained a working command of English and was
able to communicate with his English-speaking customers.
The couple was active in the Santa Rosa parish, the Catholic Church in San Fernando that
served the Mexican immigrant population. They were active in civic affairs,
participating in the San Fernando “fiesta days,” and catering its “mantilla dinner” held
at Saint Ferdinand’s church. They were also involved in exchanges with San Fernando’s
sister city, Manzanillo, in the state of Colima, Mexico.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Los Angeles (Calif.) --
Emigration and immigration
Mexican Americans -- California -- San
Rebecca S. Graff
Conditions Governing Use:
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or
reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of
the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style
manual, or see the
Citing Archival Materials
Scope and Contents
Antonio and Luz Mendez Calvo Family Collection gives a
glimpse into the lives of a Mexican-American family in the Los Angeles area during the
mid-20th century. Antonio Regalado Calvo and Maria de la Luz Mendez Calvo were
immigrants from the Mexican state of Sonora. They immigrated to the San Fernando region
of California where they met and married during the Mexican Revolution. After working
several different jobs, the Calvos started their own business selling Mexican food to
workers in the local packing houses. Eventually the couple opened Las Delicias Café on
Pico Street in downtown San Fernando. The collection consists of baptismal certificates,
birth certificates, correspondence, family trees, identification cards, invitations,
marriage certificates, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a yearbook.