Tejano Association for Historical Preservation



March Issue 2004

 The 5th Annual Cesar Chavez Hispanic Pride Parade sponsored by the Tejano
Association for Historical Preservation and other participating organizations will be held on Saturday, April 3, 2004.  It will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the corner of Cesar Chavez Blvd. and 6700 Capitol in Houston's East End.   Please see parade map as parade has been rerouted to pass in front of the Raul C. Martinez Annex.   

Honorable Mayor Bill White, will serve as the Parade Grand Marshal.

The Tejano Association for Historical Preservation will also be recognizing the Tejano Monument, which will be erected on Austin Capitol grounds to permanently honor the legacy of the Early Spanish-Mexican Tejanos and its impact on Texas Culture.  Come and show your support for the Cesar E. Chavez Hispanic Pride Parade.  Speeches will follow at 7000 Ave. Q. Hidalgo ParkThere is nocharge for non-profit organizations to participate. Volunteers are needed and applications to participate are still being accepted.  The late Mr. Genaro Flores will be awarded the President’s Award for his lifetime contribution in preservation, genealogical research and advocacy.  Call 713-540-5449 or 713-673-1418 for parade information and or events or visit the website www.tejanoahp.org   A reception will also be held on April 22, 2004 at Arcodoro Ristorante Italiano for parade volunteers and participants.  Call 713-540-5449 for more information. 

On March 6, 2004, The III International Symposium Canary Islands-Texas:  The Historical Connection was held at the Aula Canaria Buena Vista Building, University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown Campus.  The Symposium was sponsored by the Office of the President, of the University of Texas at San Antonio, The Government of the Canary Islands, The Department of History, U.T.S.A., and the Friends of the Canary Islands Foundation, San Antonio.  The following speakers were Dr. Félix D. Almaráz, Jr., Professor of History, University of Texas at San Antonio; Dr. Francisco Aznar Vallejo, Director, Instituto Tricontinental para la Democracia Parlamentaria y Los Derechos Humanos, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife; Sr. D. Antonio Cabrera, Jr. Director, OceanBank, Miami, Florida; Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, President, Friends of the Canary Islands Foundation; Dr. Henry G. Cisneros, Chairman and CEO, City Vista, San Antonio, Texas; Sr. D. Matias Diaz Padrón, Curator, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain; Dr. Ángel Gutiérrerz, Excmo. Rector Magnífico, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife; Lic. Fidencia Iglesias Arvelo, Directora, Museos de Tererife, Santa Cruz; Dr. Manuel Lobo Cabrera, Excmo. Rector Magnifico, Universidad de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; Sr. D. Lucas Martinez Sanchez, Director, Archivo Municipal de Moncolva, Coahuila, México; Excmo, Sr. D. Julio Montesino, Cónsul General de España, Houston, Texas; Excmo. Sr. D. Javier Morales Febles, Comisionado de Acción Exterior, Gobierno de Canarias, España; Excmo. Sr. D. Jeronimo Saavedra, Primer Presidente del Gobierno Autónomo de Canarias, España; Sr. D. Luis de Velasco, Director, Trade Commission of Spain, New York; Sr. D. Fernando Calero, Director de PROEXCA, Gobierno de Canarias, España, Dr. Joseph Patrick Sanchez, Director, Spanish Colonial Research Center, National Park Service, University of New Mexico; Sr. D. Alejandro Sans, Trade & Investment Office, Governor of the Canary Islands, Miami; and Sr. D. Antonio Yanes, CEO, Yanes Máquinal y Sistemas, Tenerife, Islas Canarias.  The presentations were informative and elaborated upon the arrival of the Canary Islanders to San Antonio, their contributions, tourism of the Canary Islands, improving trade relations between Spain and the United States, and the historical and educational connections.   A Canary Islands Descendants-Open House Social at the Raddison Hotel Market Square followed the symposium.  Borderland Bookstore, Mr. George Farias also had books for sale.  On Sunday March 7, 2004 was the 273rd mass celebrating the arrival of the Canary Islanders.  It was held at 10:00 a.m. at the San Fernando Cathedral, (the oldest Cathedral in the United States, founded in 1731 by the Canary Islanders as the center of their villa which they named San Fernando, now present day San Antonio) at the Plaza de las Islas, San Antonio, Texas, Reverend David Garcia, officiating.   This cathedral has been undergoing renovations and recently also suffered vandalism of seven religious statues, six of which dated back to the late 19th century.   For more information about the cathedral please visit the website of www.SFCathedral.org or call (210) 227-1297.

  The mass was followed by a reenactment performance produced by the San Antonio’s Founding Heritage.  The mistress of ceremonies was past CIDA president, Alicia Burger and the narrator was Dr. Félix D. Almaráz, Jr.  The Anniversary Luncheon followed at the Radisson Hotel Market Square.  Historian, Robert H. Thornhoff was the emcee and Galen D. Greaser; Archivist of the Texas General Land Office was the keynote speaker whose topic was Land Grants of the Islenos.   Special thanks are extended to CIDA President, Gene Chapa, Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, President, Friends of the Canary Islands Foundation, Dr. Félix D. Almaráz, Jr., Professor of History, University of Texas, San Antonio, San Antonio’s Founding Heritage, Officers of CIDA, Rev. David Garcia, Rector of San Fernando Cathedral, The Office of the President, The University of Texas at San Antonio, UTSA Department of History and The Government of the Canary Islands for again producing an educational and successful anniversary events for the Canary Islands Descendants Association.  

The following two articles are reprinted verbatim from the Canary Islands Descendants Association (CIDA) Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 3, March 2004 with permission by CIDA President, Gene Chapa and CIDA Member Alicia Cabrera Calderon.


Gene Chapa

It is that time of the year to celebrate!!  On March 9, 2004, it will be 273 years since our ancestors arrived at the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar.  Can you imagine the wonder, the doubts and most of all the feeling of accomplishment that these weary travelers felt when they arrived at the Presidio?  The Canary Islanders had left Santa Cruz, Tenerife on March 21, 1730.  Their journey had taken nearly a year.  Our ancestors had no inkling of the sights they would see on their journey.  The sea voyage would have been enough for any individual, but they sojourned in Havana, Cuba and arrived at Vera Cruz, New Spain.  The journey to the Presidio exposed them to so many different landscapes that ranged from the rain forests, deserts, snow covered mountains and finally the vast grasslands as they approached the Presidio de Bejar.  These grasslands would later make their Descendants cattle flourish when they became the first ranchers in Texas. 

According to publication, San Antonio, the First Civil Settlement in Texas:  The place at which the sixteen Canary Islands Families arrived on that March Morning was just a small village on the banks of the San Antonio River.  It was inhabited by thirty-eight soldiers and their families, and more than 250 Indians, mainly from the Coahuiltecan Tribe, who lived at Mission San Antonio de Valero.

In 1731, the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar consisted of a commander’s house, a few jacales (huts) for the soldiers, and a corral, which marked the boundaries of the Presidio Plaza.  Most of the men at the Presidio were soldados de cuero, leather-jacket soldiers named for the buckskin tunics they wore.  In addition to the Presidio, two missions were in operation at San Antonio in 1731.  Mission San Antonio de Valero, situated on the east bank of the loop in the San Antonio River, had been established in 1718, at the same time as the Presidio.  It was inhabited by Coahuiltecan Indians.  Mission San Jose had been established in 1720 for Indian refugees from East Texas Missions.  Three East Texas missions which had been closed were reestablished in San Antonio on March 5, 1731, just four days before the arrival of the Islenos. 

All of us should be very proud of our ancestors, those tenacious Islenos.  Their story is an amazing one and even though I have said it before I will repeat it again, tell everyone you know about the fantastic voyage of these wonderful Pioneers.  It is especially important that you tell your children and your grandchildren about their wonderful ancestors so that they will know about their heritage.  I look forward to seeing you at the events, which start on Saturday March 6, 2004 and culminate with our celebratory luncheon on Sunday.  I am so proud to be a Canary Islands Descendant.  Gene


Article submitted by Alice Cabrera Calderon

It is wonderful that each year we commemorate those 16 families which arrived at the Villa de San Fernando, their names proudly carried on banners for all to see and to be recalled, but in my heart, I feel we have forgotten to also honor those who did not survive the long and arduous journey.  I would like to remember my ancestor Juan Cabrera and his wife Maria Rodriguez de Bega.  It was their dream to make a better life for their children Josef, Ana and Marcos.  After arriving in Vera Cruz, the group proceeded up the steep ascent towards Orizaba with its show-capped peak, passing through several villages until coming to the town of Cordoba, where the altitude was twenty-seven hundred feet above the sea.  Here they encountered cold rain, wind, and sadly they discovered that the clothing they had brought was totally unsuitable against the surges of sleet and hail.  Orizaba is one of the highest peaks in Mexico.  As the Caravan passed through an Indian Village, Juan, the water bearer for the island of Lanzarote, who had not been well when the group left Vera Cruz, could not stand the effect of the altitude and died.  Juan was buried in a shallow grave near the treacherous road.

His widow, Maria had support from her sister, Isabel who was married to Antonio de los Santos.  After arriving in Quautitlan, an ancient Aztec Village, Maria became ill and on October 20, 1730, Maria Rodriguez de Bega died.  The death certificate states that Maria received the last sacraments and was buried at the Parrish Church of Quautitlan.  Josef, age 15 was now considered head of the house.  Ana was 13 and little Marcos was 6.

Juan Cabrera and Maria Rodriguez de Bega deserve to be remembered.  Because of their courage and tenacity, their children were able to carry on their dream.  Ana married another Canary Islander, Ignacio Lorenzo de Armas who became Alcalde of San Antonio in 1738.  They had seven children, one of them was Maria Theresa, a twin who married Francisco Casanova and a second marriage to Manuel Berban.

Josef is listed as a Corporal on Feb. 1750 at the Presidio of our Lady of Loreto and La Bahia de Espiritu Santo.  Marcos was a loyal soldier, married to Magdalena de Avila.  They had seven children.  Marcos died while on patrol on March 8, 1769.  His death certificate states he was killed by Indios Enemigos, which were known as the Apache.  His son Manuel was an artisan, who made the doors of the Veramendi Palace and the balustrades of the first Commerce Street Bridge and was known as the most skillful artisan in San Antonio.  Another son of Marcos was Vicente Ferrer Cabrera, whose daughter, Maria Ignacia, married Jose Bustillos who was also an Alcalde of San Antonio.

So, it is with a heart filled with thanks to Juan Cabrera and Maria Rodriguez de Bega for their grand sacrifice.  Their mission was completed after all and their children had a great part in making San Antonio the wonderful city we see today.  As we celebrate those who arrived in San Antonio, let us also remember those who died during the journey.  They are also heroes.  For more information about the Canary Islands Descendants Association of San Antonio, please visit the websites of 



And for information about the CIDA cousins of San Antonio, the Canary Islands Descendants that settled in Louisiana in the mid 1700’s please visit the website of  http://canaryislanders.com/

The D.A.V. San Jacinto Chapter 1 along with Southwest Housing of San Antonio is sponsoring an awards ceremony for seven WWII veterans, which will be held on March 27, 2004 at 9:00 a.m.  The seven WWII veterans that are to be honored are Frank Orozco, Domingo Trevino, Julian Garcia all three of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Ernest Eguia, Jesse Campos, William White, Sr., all of the U.S. Army, and Ruby L. Carbin, Buffalo Soldier.  Honorable Mayor Bill White will be the keynote speaker.  For more information, please contact Richard Perez at 281-451-0488.

The Vietnam Veteran’s Moving Wall will be set up for exhibit on Nov. 18, 2004 at Sylvan Beach.  It will be open for public viewing on Nov. 19, 2004 until Friday, Nov. 25, 2004.  On Nov. 26, 2004 it will be removed.   Donations are being accepted, ceremonies are being planned and volunteers are welcome.  The exhibit will be available for viewing 24 hours a day and will be free of charge.   For more information or to volunteer call Jim Hodges, Jr. Commander of America’s Lost Patrol, Inc. at 281-470-8298 or 832-228-2758.

The Cinco de Mayo parade in Goliad, Texas will be held on May 1, 2004 at 12 noon.  The Parade Grand Marshal will be Maclovio Perez of San Antonio, Channel 4.   For more information contact parade chair, William Zermeno at wzermeno@txcr.net

It is with great sadness that I report on the loss of a past board member and officer of the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation.  Mr. Genaro Flores passed away on March 21, 2004 at 10:30 a.m.  Mr. Flores was active with the Hispanic Genealogy Group, a past member of the Harris County Historical Commission, and a  veteran of WW II.  On March 17, 2004 a board meeting was held and it was decided unanimously to award Mr. Genaro Flores, our President’s award for his work in preservation at this years Cesar Chavez Hispanic Pride Parade ceremonies.  This award will now be awarded posthumously to his widow, Mrs. Evangeline Flores.   TAHP extends condolences to the Genaro Flores family.

San Antonio’s Alamo was alive and vibrant with color during the “Remember the Alamo Weekend” which was held this past March 6-7, 2004 at the Alamo Plaza in San Antonio, Texas.  There were live re-enactments featuring educational programs, demonstrations and re-enactors interpreting the men, women, and children of both sides of the Alamo battle. There also were historical musicians, dance, food preparation, corn grinding, spinning and weaving demonstrations.   The different types of period fashions, arms and tactics used by both sides were exhibited.  For more information about future events, please visit the website of   http://www.texianlegacy.com/

Registrations are still being made for Battle of San Jacinto Symposium 2004.  Digging for Texas History:  New Insights into the Battle of San Jacinto and Origins of the Texas Revolution, Friday, April 23, 2003, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  It will be held at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, University of Houston, University Drive – Entrance One.  Form and Payment must be received by April 6, 2004 to qualify for $35.00 registration fee,  (all TAHP members should have received by mail an application).  Please make checks payable to San Jacinto Battleground Association and mail to:  P.O. Box 940536 Houston, Texas 77094-7536    For more information, contact 281-496-1488 or to view the flyer/information visit the website of 


The Commemorative Ceremony commemorating the 168th Anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.  Master of Ceremony will be Ron Stone.  For information about the Commemorative Ceremony call 713-468-6771.   At 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at the Battleship Texas there will be a 56 Anniversary Celebration held on April 21, 2004.   On April 24, 2004 the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Re-enactment will be held at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site from 10:00 a.m.-6:00p.m.   Living History camps will be set up and there will be cultural demonstrations, music, and entertainment.  Food and drinks will be available for sale.  For information call 281-479-2421.  The Battle Re-enactment will be held at 3:00 p.m.  and will be presented by the San Jacinto Volunteers.  For more information call 281-479-2431 x 221 or visit the website of  http://earlytexashistory.com/SanJacinto/

The 323rd Army Band played March 13, 2004 in Goliad, Texas at the Goliad County Auditorium on behalf of all veterans.  Ruben Garza, V.P. of the Amigos of Goliad State Park was instrumental in working on this project.  Hon. Mayor Bill Schaefer and Hon. County Judge Harold Gleinser, proclaimed March 13, 2004 as a day to recognize veterans and active military personnel in Goliad and its surrounding areas.  Other sponsors were the American Legion post in Goliad, Tex., the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Goliad, Tex., Richard Delano, the county's veterans' services officer, Goliad State Park and Von Dohlen Motor Co.  Thanks to all who made this memorable event possible.    

Linda Alonzo Saenz, President

Loretta Martinez Williams, 1st Vice President

Richard Perez, 2nd Vice President

Margarito C. Vasquez, Board Member

Dr. Emilio Sarabia, Advisory Board Member

Benny C. Martinez, Advisory Board Member

 For input regarding the newsletter contact Loretta Martinez Williams at latejana3000@aaahawk.com

T.A.H.P. Newsletter March Issue 2004