Heritage of America has been involved with Mexico and Latin America since the the 1970s.  When Heritage was founded in 1976, Dr. Nieto had initiated a number of programs and projects with Mexico through Bakersfield College where he was working as a counselor, professor and later as the Dean of the Delano College Center.  He believed the Heritage of Aztlan,  as the agency was originally named, would be able to create and establish a number of programs and projects where the limitations of working through an institution of higher education would not be able to provide.  So the initial international efforts of Heritage of Aztlan (later change to Heritage of America) were educational and cultural programs with Mexico and Mexican institutions while at the same time developing and implementing programs and projects of a local, regional, and international nature.

Project MECHICA

One of the first programs was the establishment of Project MECHICA (Materiales Para Estudios Chicanos Interculturales de America) which was a program through Bakersfield College, the Secretary of Public Education, the Organization of American States, UNAM (the National Autonomous University of Mexico) California State University Bakersfield, and the Bakersfield City School District.  Title IX: Ethnic Heritage Studies Programs awarded a grant to make Project MECHICA possible.

The purpose of Project MECHICA was to educate and train Chicano students on their historical and cultural roots in Mexico; to identify and develop curriculum materials in Chicano Studies for use in elementary and secondary education; to train our students in the use of these materials; and to disseminate these materials to elementary, secondary, and university classes and programs. The program was initiated in the Fall of 1974 and continued through the Spring of 1975.  For more detailed information on Project MECHICA see Jesus G. Nieto, "Project M.E.CH.I.C.A.: Materiales para Estudios Chicanos Interculturales de America," Resources In Education, ERIC, Document Reproduction Service, ED 115-331, Arlington, Virginia, 2221 O. 1976.

Many materials were produced, published, and disseminated as a result of this project, including, but not limited to the following:

Jesus G. Nieto, Mexican And Chicano Art: An Anthology. Title IX: Ethnic Heritage Studies Programs Project MECHICA. Bakersfield College. Chicano Cultural Center. Bakersfield, California. 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, Pre Columbian, Mexican, And Chicano Thought And Philosophy. Vol. 1, Vol. 11. Title IX: Ethnic Heritage Studies Programs-Project MECHICA. Bakersfield College. Chicano Cultural Center. Bakersfield, California. May 1975.

FE. Albi And Jesus G. Nieto. "Sighs and Songs of Aztlan: A Chicano Literature Anthology." Funded by Ethnic Heritage Studies Programs, Title IX, Washington, D.C.  Universal Press, Bakersfield, California, 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, A Chicano Studies Bibliography. Title IX: Ethnic Heritage Studies Programs - Project MECHICA. Bakersfield College. Chicano Cultural Center, Bakersfield, California. 1977.

Jesus G. Nieto, Project Mexico Director 1975, 1976, 1977. International Chicano Studies Study Tour Program. Trips to various locations of Mexico with students and teachers for the development of curriculum materials and the training in the use of those materials were two of the major objectives of the project.

The initiation of Project MECHICA resulted in many more programs of an educational and cultural basis with a variety of Mexican institutions, agencies, and groups.  Many study tours were organized for students, faculty, and community members and succeeded in visiting many parts of Mexico which included Pre Columbian sites, colonial cities and locations, and modern Mexican locations as well. 

Cultural Programs: In 1977 the world famous group, Los Folkloristas were invited to Bakersfield and Kern County in what became an magnificent series of concerts, musical workshops, and television programs for our community which also spread to other parts of California and the U.S.  Eventually over 40 programs and concerts were planned and organized for Los Folkloristas which included four one half hour (1/2)  programs with KBAK TV 29 (two programs) in 1978, and two (1/2) one half hour programs with Univision Network Television Fresno-Bakersfield in 1990.  The KBAK TV 29 programs were televised in Bakersfield and in the other TV markets of their U.S. network.  In addition, these two programs were aired for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico when Dr. Julian Nava was U.S. Ambassador during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.  The two KBAK / Heritage programs were eventually used by schools and colleges throughout the U.S. These two programs were also broadcast in Mexico by the national Mexican national TV station, and by the Brazilian national TV station. The Univision programs were televised throughout the Univision Network in the U.S. and Latin America.

Other publications, programs, and activities include the following:

Jesus G. Nieto, "Repatriation Of The 1930's, the Pachuco Riots, Farm workers, And The Movimiento: A Talk With Carey McWilliams," Videotape Interview. Chicano Cultural Center, Bakersfield College. Bakersfield, California. May 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, Chicano Philosophical Foundations: A Talk With Federico Sanchez," Videotape Interview. Chicano Cultural Center,  Bakersfield College. Bakersfield, California. April 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, "The History Of The Chicano: His Pre Columbian Past," Produced TV documentary for Bakersfield College, Chicano Cultural Center, and McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Inc. KERO NBC TV 23, March 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Chicano Studies - International Perspectives," paper presentation at the Multicultural Institute Conference. San Francisco, California, October 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, "International Education In The Community College In California," Paper At The Social Sciences Association Conference. San Francisco, California, 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Chicano Access To Higher Education," Paper Presentation for the Association Of Mexican American Education State Conference. Fresno, California. October 1975.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Guide To An Analysis of Curriculum Materials For Ethnic Heritage Programs." California State Department of Education, Sacramento, 1976. Co-author and member of Design Group. (The guide has been used throughout the state of California.)

Jesus G. Nieto, "The Use of the Media for Bilingual/Bicultural Education," Fifth Annual International Bilingual/Bicultural Education Conference, San Antonio, Texas. April 29-May 2, 1976.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Music As Cultural History," American Issues Forum. Nationally syndicated newspaper article. January, 1976.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Socializing Americans: School and Community," American Issues Forum. Nationally syndicated newspaper article. April, 1976.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Mexican Americans and Mental Health Practices With A View of Curanderismo." Symposium presentation for Kern View Community Mental Health Center, Bakersfield, California, May, 1976 (Member of Board of Directors, 1976-1979).

Jesus G. Nieto, produced television documentary, "Where are The Roots of Men?" for the Chicano Cultural Center of Bakersfield College and the McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Inc., KERO  TV-23, Bakersfield, California. (Documentary filmed on the site in various parts of Mexico. 1976. Shown three times, prime time, July 4 and October 12, 1977, May, 1980.)

Jesus G. Nieto, project director of HERITAGE OF AZTLAN. Project on the research and development of a television series on the history, culture, and heritage of the Chicano. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sponsored by KCET-TV 28 - Los Angeles and in cooperation with Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, California. October 1977 - August 1978.

Jesus G. Nieto, along with playwright and director Luis Valdez and Edward Gruskin, researched and wrote television script, "Plumed Serpent and Smoking Mirror," a two hour dramatization based on the Toltec period in Tula (Mexico) during Quetzatcoatl's rule in the 10th century A.D. This project was funded by the National Endowment For The Humanities and in cooperation with KCET-TV 28 Los Angeles, California. 1977-78.

Jesus G. Nieto, developed television documentary, "Pre-Columbian Cosmology." Grant by the California's Arts Council- Sacramento, California. (Documentary film on site in various parts of Mexico, Spring 1977 and Summer 1978.)

Jesus G. Nieto. "Chicano Cultural Renaissance," radio program for La Universidad  Nacional Autonoma de Mexico with Rene Villanueva, Mexico City, program #394, July 25, 1978, 30 minute program.

Jesus G. Nieto. "The Chicano Movement," radio program for La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico with Rene Villanueva, Mexico City, program #395, July 18, 1978, 30 minute program.

 Jesus G. Nieto, "A Community-Based Cross-Cultural Curriculum Approach With A Mexican American Focus" (paper presentation), The Society For Intercultural Education, Training And Research, Mexico City, March 3, 1979. 

Jesus G. Nieto, "Populist Colleges - Emerging Links In Intercultural Education, Training And Research," (symposium presentation). The Society For Intercultural Education, Training And Research, Mexico City, March 3, 1979.

Jesus G. Nieto, "El Canto Nuevo: Los Folkloristas," Somos Magazine. May 1979, San Bernardino, California. 

Jesus Nieto, " La Lucha De Los Obreros Del Campo Y El Movimiento Chicano," presentation at La Escuela Nacional De Ciencias Biologicas of National Polytechnic University, Mexico City, July 18, 1979.

Jesus G. Nieto,  "Analysis - Estudio Sobre El Papel De Intercambio Educativo En La Educacion Mexicana," for the Secretary of Public Education, Republic of Mexico, and U.S. Mexico Quadripartite Commission, October 1979.

Jesus G. Nieto, "The Binational College Between Mexico And The United States," (paper presentation, The Seventh Annual Conference Of The Society Of Ethnic And Special Studies, Los Angeles, California, October, 1979.

Charles, Collins, Jesus G. Nieto, and Bennett Tom, "Variables Associated With The Professional Advancement of Minority Administrators in California Community Colleges," paper for symposium "Minority Leadership For The 1980's." California Personnel And Guidance Association Conference, San Francisco, California, February, 1980.

Jesus G. Nieto, "Project MUSTT: Mexico-U.S., Technology Transfer," Focus On Learning And Teaching, Kern Community College District, Bakersfield, California, Spring, 1980.

Jesus G.Nieto, "Informe Del Estudio Inventario De Programas De Los Estados Unidos y La Republica De Mexico," (Report on U.S. Mexico Educational Programs) Commission of the Californias Study, Los Angeles, California, June, 1980.

Jesus G. Nieto, "The Aztec: Artist And His World," CAMINOS Magazine, October 1980, Vol. I. No. 6, San Bernardino, California.

Jesus G. Nieto, "A Proposal For A New Partnership Between Private Enterprise In The United States And Mexico," presented to U.S. Embassy, Ambassador Julian Nava, Mexico City, February, 1981.