Today kicks off the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to celebrate the many ways Hispanic Americans, who were among the original Texans, have enriched our society. Originally started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, America has been observing National Hispanic Heritage Month since 1988. We share a few events and places that will help you celebrate.
The Guerra family of far South Texas is devoted to celebrating their ancestors history yearlong, partly through their large collection of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and Southwestern art and antiques — it has been said that they have amassed one of America’s greatest private collections of art from both sides of the Mexican-American border. While the Guerras’ San Vicente Ranch is private, you can get a taste of their impressive collection at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio.
While there, don’t miss the opportunity to visit a spot that humans have been visiting for 12,000 years — the oldest park in Texas, San Pedro State Park. The park offers a beautiful 46 acres to meander through, including a community swimming pool and giant oaks to sit underneath. But San Pedro State Park also offers a rich history lesson into San Antonio’s past — historians even say that the cities oldest permanent settlement, a mission, was founded in 1718, right near the park.
Abilene, Sep. 24-Mar. 11
Spanish Texas: Legend and Legacy
The history of Texas as a unique blend of Spanish, Native American, Mexican and Anglo-American traditions will be the focus of this exhibition.
Austin, Sep. 17-Nov. 13
Icons and Symbols of the Borderland
Exhibit embodies the landscape and cultural legacy of the U.S./Mexico borderland. It features artworks pertaining to socio-political issues, immigration topics, collective memory, philosophical ideals, religious iconography, the environmental landscape and food culture.
Edinburg, Oct. 29
Learn more about this fascinating tradition of Mexico with authentic handcrafted work, themed paintings, delicious food booths, live music, crafts, Dia de los Muertos costume contests and more.
Pharr, Sep. 17
Diez y Seis de Septiembre Celebration
A celebration of the “Cry of Dolores” by Father Miguel Hidalgo as the precursor to Mexico’s Independence. Event will feature a cook-off, family fun, “Grito” contest, jalapeno eating contest, food booths, student mariachi and folklorico performances; headlined by Mariachi 7 Leguas.
San Antonio, Guadalupe Theater
Sep. 16: Celebrando Tradiciones: 25th Anniversary of The Guadalupe Dance Company
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center presents Celebrando Tradiciones, a celebration of Mexican dance and music by The Guadalupe Dance Company accompanied by Mariachi Azteca de America. This performance commemorates the Guadalupe Dance Company’s 25 years of existence on Mexican Independence Day: Diez y Seis de Septiembre. The Guadalupe Dance Company premiered its first performance in celebration of Mexicoâ™s Independence Day in September of 1991. Now 25 years later the Guadalupe Dance Company celebrates this milestone with a dance performance that includes new work taught by Mexican choreographers from the AsociaciÃ³n Nacional de Grupos Folkloricos (ANGF) and cherished pieces by the company including Danzas Aztecas. The evening will begin at 7:00 pm with a pre-show pachanga and silent auction. Food and drink will be for sale, as well as specialty regional gifts in the silent auction. The dance performance will begin at 8pm, with a post show fiesta to follow. This festive event will be filled with the flavors, sounds, and movement of Mexico!
Oct. 1, JALEOS: Flamenco Dance Performance
In flamenco, Jaleo includes words of encouragement called out to the performers. From folk to classical, and movements that reveal the ancient origins of flamenco, this show “Jaleos” features professional performances by “La Sonya,” “La Morena,” guitarists Luisma Ramos and Luis “El Tiburon”Linares, and from New Mexico, Vicente Griego, cantaor.
Oct. 12: Viva Mi Cultura: Nuestras Raices
“Viva Mi Cultura” is a one-hour lecture demonstration featuring members of the Guadalupe Dance Company presenting the traditional dances, costumes and music of Mexico and Spain. The lively performance gives audiences the opportunity to interact with the dancers while emphasizing the cultural value of traditional Folkloric and Flamenco dance. Audiences will have the opportunity to interact with the dancers, participate in a question and answer session and join in a mini dance class. Each performance highlights different traditions of Mexico or Spain.
Oct. 21-Nov. 11: Dia De Los Muertos Altar Exhibition
Día de los Muertos altars in the Galería Guadalupe ARE created by a variety of artists, families, and organizations, including guest artist Jorge Piña.
There’s, of course, plenty of Hispanic history to learn and achievements to celebrate. These museums are among those around the state are with rich history to help you embrace National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History, sitting in the downtown square of Edinburg, features three exhibit areas and chronicles the heritage of the Rio Grande Valley from the Cretaceous Period through today. Don’t miss Rio Grande Legacy, the museum’s signature, bilingual exhibit.
The Historic Brownsville Museum
At the state’s closest point to Mexico sits the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, a historic station built in 1928 in Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style that now houses images and artifacts dating back to the 1700s. Learn the stories of Mexican Revolution soldaderas (female soldiers) like Valentina Ramirez, who dressed as a man to participate in battles.
Glimpse into the Native American, Hispanic and Anglo-American that have shaped the melting pot that is West Texas at The Museum of Big Bend.
We are proud to have San Antonio Missions as a World Heritage Site, but there are many other sites across the state that tell the story of Hispanic influencers and culture. For a more comprehensive listing of Hispanic heritage sites, visit Texas Time Travel, a part of Texas Historical COmmission’s Texas Heritage Trails Programfor a more comprehensive listing of sites.
Aztlan Park, Lubbock
Brown Plaza and Casa de la Cultura, Del Rio
Casa Navarro State Historic Site, San Antonio
Casa Ortiz, Laredo
Casa Ortiz, El Paso
Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso
Comanchero Canyons Museum, Quitaquie
Costumes of the Americas Museum, Brownsville
El Mercado, San Antonio
El Paso Museum of History, El Paso
Freddy Fender Museum, San Benito
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio
Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio
International Friendship Festival, Eagle Pass
Latino Cultural Center of Dallas, Dallas
Little Joe y La Familia Museum, Temple
Los Portales Tourist Museum and Information Center, San Elizario
Mission Socorro, Socorro
Museo Alameda, San Antonio
Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, San Benito
Presidio de San Saba, Menard
Presidio La Bahia, Goliad
Selena Museum, Corpus Christi
Spanish Governor’s Palace, San Antonio
Tejano Monument, Austin
Tejano Walking Trail, Austin
Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum, San Benito
Ysleta Mission, El Paso