"It is public information that El Conquistador is the mascot of the Fraternity and the term used to refer to the Lambda pledge. Founding Father Agustin Garcia suggested the conquistador be the mascot of the Fraternity in early 1978."

"Founding Father Wilfredo Ayes interjected the conquistador into the Lambda pledging process. As the Fraternity's first Pledgemaster , Founding Father Ayes thought up the idea that the Lambda pledge be referred to as a conquistador. Founding Father Ayes presented his idea in anticipation of the first pledge line of the Fraternity, in the Spring of 1978."

"Over the years, the brotherhood has been questioned and criticized for selecting the conquistador as a symbol to represent the organization. The criticism has arisen due to the negative connotations that accompany the term. History books depict the conquistadores as having committed genocide of the Indian people. Representing the Spanish crown, in the sixteenth century the conquistadores came to the Americas. Why, then, would the Fraternity choose the conquistador as its symbol?"

"The literal definition of the term, as opposed to the notorious role the conquistadores played in our history, was the overriding consideration. Overcoming barriers and conquering difficulties was the inspiration behind the selection. In fact, the historical significance of the conquistador was never a part of the discussions. Instead, the founders concentrated on the meaning of the term and how it would represent each and every brother. This is evidenced by the fact that another term was suggested--Pioneros (pioneers). As the first Latin fraternity in the nation, the Lambdas would be pioneers. Lambda Theta Phi would settle new territories and originate what others would attempt to duplicate. Yet another recommendation was Caballeros (gentlemen or knights). Every brother of the Fraternity should possess a certain demeanor--courteous, generous, chivalrous, and marked by honor. As one can see, the literal meaning of the term would be the deciding factor."

"Each suggestion was debated. While the reasoning behind Pioneros and Caballeros would apply to every Lambda, El Conquistador was the victor. The discussions on the conquistadorcovered an array of relevant topics. The literal definition, albeit the most salient, was but one supporting argument."

"Despite its place in history, El Conquistador was selected. It was in the spirit of overcoming the impossible, and of conquering a dream, that the selection was made."

No materials from "The History of Lambda Theta Phi, Latin Fraternity Incorporated" can be reprinted without the expressed written consent of Lambda Theta Phi, Fraternidad Latina, Inc and Jesus Pena, Esq. (The following excerpts are not reprinted in the book's order. Some of the text was omitted for space.)


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