Garcia-Manzanedo, Hector (1926-2003)

Garcia-Manzanedo, Hector (1926-2003)

Date Updated



College of Social Work

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, 1967 Dr. P.H.

School of Public Health, Mexico, 1960 M.S.P.

National School of Anthropology, Mexico, 1959 MA

Teaching Experience

SJSU School of Social Work, 1973-1993

Institute of Anthropological Research, Natl. Autonomous University of Mexico , 1991-1996

UCLA School of Public Health, 1971-1973

School of Public Health, Mexico, 1968-1970

National School of Anthropology, 1957-1959

Administrative and Professional Experience

Research Anthropologist, Ministry of Health, Mexico, 1955‑1959.

Short‑term Consultant, Pan American Health Office, 1968‑81 Research and Teaching in: Antigua, W.I.; Argentina; Brazil; Costa Rica; Cuba;Ecuador; Guatemala; Mexico; Trinidad‑Tobago; and Venezuela.

Selected Publications

Bases Esenciales de la Salud Publica (Co‑Author: Dr. Leopoldo Vega Franco), Mexico, La Prensa Medica Mexicana, 1977.

Manual de Investigacion Aplicada en Servicios Sociales y de Salud, Mexico, La Prensa Medica Mexicana, 1983.

Antropologos en el Campo, Mexico (UNAM, in print), 1996.

Additional articles and publications in Spanish and English.

Personal Commentary

I enrolled at the National School of Anthropology in Mexico City in 1950. I also took a job as a museographer in the old Museum of Anthropology, and participated as a draftsman in the 1951 excavations at Palenque, a Maya ancient city in Ciapas, Mexico. My real interest was not in ancient, but living cultures, so I registered in the Social Anthropology cluster, which was being started in 1952. This move gave me the opportunity to do field work in different parts of Mexico, including Tarascans in Michoacán, Tarahumaras in Chihuahua, and Zapotecs in Oaxaca.

My work as a research anthropologist in the Ministry of Health gave me a new outlook on a particular field to apply my training in Social Anthropology. Conducting research and teaching health personnel on cultural factors related to health and disease possibly made me the first Medical Anthropologist in Mexico. Later on, I applied to the School of Public Health and completed a Master’s degree in Public Health, which made me also the first Mexican with training in both Anthropology and Public Health.

When a fellowship offer was made to me by U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health to complete a doctoral program in Community Health Education, I moved to California for the first time. After graduation in 1967, I returned to Mexico and became again part of the teaching staff at the School of Public Health.

The UCLA School of Public Health advertised a position as head of the Community Health Education program, and I was hired and worked in that position until funds ran out in 1973. The following fall I accepted an offer from San Jose State University School of Social Work. Since I had taught both Social Anthropology and Public Health, and my cultural background was from Mexico, I fitted immediately into this recently created School, and its special mission. Whenever possible in the summer vacation, I would travel to Latin America as a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization, either conducting research, or teaching.

After retiring in 1993, I travel frequently to Mexico City, to offer seminars and courses in Medical Anthropology and Research Methods. I have also recently written a book, Antropologos en el Campo (Anthropologists in the Field) in which I have recorded a number of my own experiences in fieldwork. The National University of Mexico will publish this book by fall, 1996.

Date Completed: 8/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Garcia-Manzanedo, Hector (1926-2003)