Irma Castro has worn many hats as a Chicana activist. She was instrumental in establishing la escuelita del barrio. that worked with parents in the late 60’s. She was born and raised in San Diego and spent a great deal of her time in Logan Heights.
As a child she had many medical problems and spent many months in a cast, and problems with her vision. Irma will be the first to tell you she did not share many of the childhood experiences other children did.
At four she wanted to attend school so much she bugged her father over and over again to please send her to school. Her father spoke to the priest at OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE and she was allowed to attend first grade at the age of 4. She also graduated from high school at the age of 16.
As a little girl she attended union meetings with her family. Her family was very active in social issues at that time to focus was unionizing cannery workers. Baby sitters were non existent so she attended union meeting. She will tell you she can follow Roberts rules of order in both English and Spanish.
After graduating from high school she attended SDSU. There was no money for college so she worked.as a book keeper at Neighborhood House. and did some retail work.
Her uncle Armando Rodriquez ran for office and once again the family became very involved in the political process and working in a campaign
While working at Neighborhood House she worked on civil rights issues. She was one of the first women to lead the Chicano Federation. In this time period the Chicano Federation was fairly new and became an advocate for many of the issues that affected Chicanos. Chicano Federation sued the County of San Diego under her leadership. She was also responsible for the first housing program the Chicano Federation did.
After leaving the Chicano Federation she worked with a advocacy program for San Diego City Schools. The program involved mentoring young girls and helping them see what they could achieve.
After leaving SDCS she went to work for Casa Familiar in San Ysidro. On June 30 she will retire from Casa and follow new adventures in support of the community.