By Raquel C. Garza
Growing up in Laredo, Texas, Pedro "Pete" Tijerina said he "never knew what discrimination was," mainly because the city's population was mostly Mexican. School children spoke Spanish freely, never fearing reproach from teachers.
His father, Pedro Martinez Tijerina, provided for his family in a humble way; he worked as a self-employed truck driver, moving furniture from house to house. The elder Tijerina made a modest sum for his services, "75 cents, a dollar and a quarter would be too much," recalled Tijerina, smiling.