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Mapping Santa Ana

by Roger Eyes R. and Sarah Rafael García

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Mapping Santa Ana is a Crear Studio Collaboration with local artists Roger Eyes R. and Sarah Rafael García. Initiated in 2021 as a counter map to tourist marketing, Mapping Santa Ana is a graphic documentation of downtown Santa Ana that includes a living digital archive. One goal is to offer this collaborative project to the City of Santa Ana as an ongoing digital map that can continue to include locations and history outside of the downtown area. Additionally, the downtown map has also been designed into a pocket-sized folding map that locals and guests can pick up at Crear Studio and LibroMobile to access the digital map through a QR code. Together, Roger and Sarah hope to be able to show you how much this city means to them, and how they see it as a vivid and historical place they are determined to preserve and proud to call home.

Below is a sample of what you can find on the full map, which is updated on a rolling basis!


The Logan Barrio might not be on the map right now, if it were not for Josephine "Chepa" Andrade. Logan is one of the original Mexican barrios in Santa Ana. Its roots trace back to 1886.

Born in the late 1920s in the Logan Barrio, Chepa was one of 11 children. She attended Logan Elementary School across the street from the family home.

Geographically the Logan Barrio was much larger than it is today. To the east it was bordered by the Santa Fe Railroad, to the west by Santiago St., on the south Logan St. ran past Fruit St. then continued north past Washington St. The orchards and agriculture fields were the frame of the Logan Barrio scene.

In the early 50s, a big hole was dug on the north side of Logan - the 5 freeway. Later another portion was taken to redirect the street to make way for the new Santa Ana Train Station. The Logan Barrio was chipped away over the years.

Prior to Logan Barrio's establishment, 263 Mexican families were counted in the Orange County census of 1910, over 200 more than were counted in 1900. Yet, what was planned to be a prosperous commercial center became Logan Barrio.

Logan Barrio took its name from Logan Street, named after General John A. Logan from the Civil War. Logan had a direct influence on the growth of the railroads in Southern California (i.e Barrio Logan in San Diego).

Mexicans from the Southwest, members from the Acjachemen Indian Tribe Juaneños), Californianos, and newly arrived Mexicans from across the border moved into the area. Society labeled them "Mexicans from Logan." Eventually, it was also

labeled as the only region in Santa Ana that Mexicans could live and buy homes.

Now, although only a fraction of what it was before, it is home to long-term generational residents, including Chepa's children and grandchildren, along with multicultural neighbors, and a history of hosting the Logan Barrio annual reunion at Chepa's Park to honor their unity over the years.

Chepa married her neighbor from across the street (Logan), Joe Andrade, and they had 6 children. She developed and nurtured her community at an early age. She was not afraid to speak out, never intimidated, and always stood her ground, especially at the Santa Ana City Council meetings.

Chepa not only opened doors for her barrio but together they built Logan Park to keep the 5 freeway from going through their neighborhood. She passed in April 2006, in her memory Logan Park was named after her. As you can see, Chepa she still represents Logan Barrio to this day.

To learn more about Santa Ana's Logan Barrio: Its History, Stories and Families, read the book written by Mary Garcia who was also raised in the Logan Barrio. Mary is one of the founding members of the OC Mexican American Historical Society.

Reference: Garcia, M. (2007). Santa Ana's Logan Barrio: It's History, Stories, and Families. Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society.


Sasscer Park is a one-acre park that features seating areas, a large fountain, and grassy fields. It was officially named in honor of Officer Nelson Sasscer in 1983, and the featured fountain is named after fellow fallen Officer Dan Hale.

On June 4, 1969, shots rang out in Southwest Santa Ana as police officer Nelson Sasscer was shot and killed in the line of duty on the corner of Third and Raitt streets. There were no eyewitnesses to the murder, but the police quickly laid blame on the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers had a small branch in the Santa Ana area, established in 1968 to help organize against segregation, police brutality, and youth hunger. Santa Ana police stormed into African American neighborhoods in search of Sasscer's killers and brought shotguns and batons along with them. In retaliation to this incredibly heavy-handed response, Black and Brown youth torched a lack-in-the-Box located in downtown Santa Ana and even assaulted one of the police officers with his own baton (Lewinnek, Arellano, & Dang, 2022, pp.88). Eventually the branch's leader Daniel Lynem was taken away in handcuffs and was held for one month before being freed of all charges. Instead, his fellow panther Arthur League was put on trial and eventually convicted of the second-degree murder of Officer Sasscer. Today, League is an avid activist for political prisoners who have been forgotten in the prison system.

In the aftermath of this conflict, city leaders formed the Orange County Human Relations Commission which aims to "seek out causes of tension and conflict, discrimination and intolerance and attempt to eliminate those causes." Sasscer Park experienced relative calm for decades until the 2010s saw a surge in progressive activism. Activists have dubbed the park "Black Panther Park" and it has become a space where rallies, protests, and press conferences concerning various progressive issues now occur. This newer generation of activists use this park as a remembrance of Santa Ana's radical history (Lewinnek et al., 2022, pp.88).

Reference: Lewinnek, E., Arellano, G., & Dang, T.V. (2022). A People's Guide to Orange County.


Sarah Rafael García is an author, community educator, curator, and performance ethnographer born in Brownsville, Tejas and raised in Santa Ana, California. She’s the founder of Barrio Writers, LibroMobile and Crear Studio — all art programs initiated as a response to build cultural relevance and equity for BIPOC folks in Orange County. IG: @cuentosmobile


Professional multidisciplinary artist Roger Eyes R, has creatively engaged with communities in and around his hometown since 2015. His interest is in the people, history, and culture of Santa Ana California. and has this to offer on staying inspired: “Keep creatively busy. Do it well, so it with love, and you’ll know your muse has found you when you begin to have fun.” His work was selected for exhibition at the age of five after, unbeknownst to him, his teacher submitted his drawing to an art contest and received an award; and from then on it began. Roger studied fine art, sculpting, graphics arts & design for many years and currently focuses on large scale murals. He employs his signature “Color-Rez” style, layering application informed by impressionism and pointillism to form textures and images through the placement of complimenting colors in all of his personal work. He regards art to be a magnetic form of "expression & response" and his compulsion to create and share is his nature and so, he remains an active member of the art community with award- winning independent creative projects, partnerships and collaborations that continue to connect people to art and further strengthen the future of Santa Ana, arts and culture.

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