Tejano Association for Historical Preservation

Lorenzo de Zavala Chapter

September Issue 2003


On October 3, 2003, The Tejano Association for Historical Preservation is very fortunate to have Mr. Abel Rubio, author of Stolen Heritage present at 7:00 p.m. at the Latino Learning Center 3522 Polk, Hou. Tx. 77003.  His talk will cover his latest manuscript soon to be published by Eakin Press, covering the contributions of the Spanish Soldiers, Canary Islanders, Mexican Soldiers and pioneers of Texas.  Please make plans to attend this informative meeting.  Call 713-540-5449 for information.

Latest News about the Tejano Monumento by Dr. Cayetano Barrera

On Saturday, August 9, 2003, a group of very prominent Texas historians and professors met at the Capitol in Austin to begin writing the text that will go on the plaques in front of the Tejano Monument that will be placed on the Texas Capitol Grounds. The plaques will tell the story of the Tejano experience in Texas from the 1500s to the present. The historians pictured L-R, are Dr. Carolina Castillo Crimm, Professor of History at the Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, Jack Jackson, Award winning author on Texas History, Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa, Professor of History at Incarnate Word University, San Antonio, Dr. Andres Tijerina, Award winning Author and Professor of History at Austin Community College and Chairman of the committee for the Tejano Monument, Inc., and Dr. Felix Almaraz, Professor of History at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Dr. Tijerina, Vice President of the Tejano Monument, Inc. Chairs the committee that will edit the final version of the text on the plaques. The blue ribbon panel of historians has graciously volunteered their time and talent to this endeavor, and they are greatly appreciated. 

The Tejano Monument Statuette is still available for sale of a limited edition by Artist Armando Hinojosa for $3000.00  All proceeds benefit the Tejano Monument.  For more information about the statuette contact Dr. Cayetano Barrera at cebdlg@aol.com or more information regarding the Tejano Monument, Inc. please visit the website of www.tejanos.com

The dedication ceremony of the Raul C. Martinez Annex was held on September 17, 2003 at 10:00 a.m, 1001 Staff Sgt. Macario Garcia.  Honorable Constable Victor Trevino, Precinct 6 was the eloquent emcee.  Hon. Ruben Guerrero, Atty. At Law opened with a prayer and also shared with the audience a few words about his memories of Constable Martinez.  Loretta Williams presented a history of the family and Mr. Benny C. Martinez shared early memories of his brother Roy.  He spoke of his bravery when he put out a fire as a young boy.  He also reminisced of when his brother served in the Civilian Conservation Corp and how proud the family was when Roy announced that he was going to defend his country by enlisting in the Army during WWII.  Lucy Martinez, his widow and son Roy, Jr. thanked the audience and Hon. Commissioner Garcia.  They also presented a portrait of Constable Martinez that was taken of him in uniform at his office on 1001 Staff Sgt. Macario Garcia.  American Legion Harrisburg, Post 472, and Ben Saenz, Commander performed the Presentation of Colors.  Ms. Carrion, Principal of Raul C. Martinez Elem. and students led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Miss Alicia Guzman performed the National Anthem.  Honorable Commissioner Sylvia Garcia warmly greeted the crowd and shared moving words of her memories of Constable Raul C. Martinez.  She invited Mrs. Martinez, Roy Jr., and wife Becky, along with the rest of the family to help with the unveiling.  She then cordially invited everyone present to attend the reception and tour the courthouse.  Mariachi Aguilas de America Ė Manuel Ortega, treated the guests with music and Alicia Guzman also serenaded the crowd.  Special guests were Hon. Judge Richard Vara, Robert de la Garza, Jr, Sheriff of Goliad, Esther Campos, School Board Member, Felix Fraga, Ex School Board Member and Ex City Councilman, Hon. Alfred J. Hernandez, Atty. At Law and Mrs. Hernandez, Jim DeVore, Chief Deputy, of Paul Bettencourtís Office, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, Lanelle Killebrew, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Tom Houston and Dick Reese, Sons of the Republic of Texas, Sylvia Gonzalez, District 8 Dir. LULAC, Rudy ďTejanoĒ Pena, of Corpus Christi, Roy Zermeno of S.W. Bell, Author Abel Rubio, Linda Alonzo Saenz, President, T.A.H.P., Domingo Marquez, GI Forum, Richard Perez, D.A.V., Guadalupe Flores of V.F W. Post # 8930, Phillipa Young and son, Mr. Young, of LULAC # 60, Linda and Angel Seguin Garcia, History Class of Edison Middle School and Principal Mr. Dan De Leon.  It was a memorable day for all. 


Loretta Martinez Williams gave the following speech at the Dedication ceremony. Author Abel Rubio, family historians Estella Zermeno and Benny Martinez, provided the following information:

Weíre here today to honor a man who opened new avenues for minorities, was the first in many areas and would also help others be first.  He was an inspiration to us all.  Raul. C. Martinez was a Tejano, a Mexican Texan and a proud American.  Raulís family on his maternal side came from the Canary Islands, Lanzarote, a Spanish province.  This Cabrera Family was one of the 16 chosen families who were sent by King Philpe V of Spain to found the Villa de San Fernando and established the first civil municipal government in Texas, now the city of San Antonio.  They arrived March 9, 1731, were honored with Spanish Titles and granted land.  But like so many other immigrants trying to arrive to this great land, Raulís 6th great grandmother and 6th great grand father Juan and Maria Cabrera died enroute on the Via Appa Road from Veracruz.  His fifth great grand Uncle Joseph Cabrera was a Spanish Soldier in Tejas by 1735.     In 1749 he was stationed at the Presidio La Bahia, Goliad.  His brother Marcos Raulís 5th great grandfather served as a cavalryman in the Spanish army and died in battle with the Indians on March 8, 1769.

On Raulís paternal side his 4th great grandfather Pedro Becerra was born in Louisiana in 1730 and his son Miguel, Raulís 3rd Great Grand Uncle was born in 1757 at La Bahia, Goliad.  Miguel was listed in the 1780 Census at La Bahia as a Spanish soldier and took part in a trail ride to carry cattle and sheep to Bernardo Galvez' troops during the American Revolution.  Miguel Becerra was also the grandfather to Col. Juan N. Seguin, the only native Texan to fight both at the Alamo and at San Jacinto.  Manuel Becerra, Raulís 3rd Great Grandfather served as the first Ayuntamiento (City Secretary) of Goliad in 1820 and held various public offices until 1835.

Manuel Becerra would be a land grantee, guide of Stephen F. Austin, and as sindico, civil judge signed peace treaties with the Karanakawa and Coco Indians.

Raulís 4th Great Grandfather Vicente Cabrera was a Spanish Soldier, his 3rd great grand father Juan Manuel Cabrera was also a Spanish soldier and after the Independence of Mexico from Spain, served as a Mexican Soldier.  Raulís 3rd Great Grand Uncle also named Juan Manuel Cabrera served under Seguin in the fight for Texas Independence and his name is listed in the barracks of the Alamo under Seguinís 9th Company of Texas Volunteers.

Mariano Cabrera, Raul's 2nd great grandfather along with other families was ordered by the Mexican Gen. Filisola to leave Goliad during the Texas Revolution in 1836 bearing witness to Goliadís darkest period of history.

Raulís great grandfather Macario Cabrera served in the Confederate States of America.  Once again in times of war the family would be split as others would follow to muster in the Confederate Army.  Raulís great grand Uncle Anacleto Cortinas would be the only member from the family to serve with the Union Army as a Sgt. in the First Texas Cavalry.

Raulís great grand mother Paula Martinez, unhappy about the segregation of schools in Goliad served in 1933 as President of the Ladies Auxiliary LULAC Council #2.  His Father Placido served in 1937 as President of LULAC Council #21 in Goliad and became involved in the court case of Delgado vs. Bastrop that ruled segregation was illegal of Mexican American children in Bastrop ISD and three other districts.  This case began a 10-year struggle led by LULAC and the GI Forum in the courts against the segregation of Mexican American children in the Texas Public School Systems.

The legacy of this family for over 270 years, includes pioneers, founders and defenders of Texas.  They were tough Tejanos proud to be Americans.

To quote the eloquence of my Uncle Roy himself, ďOur dues have been higher than most, we will continue to pay them.  We will continue to preserve our colorful heritage.  Our glorious past is as beautiful as America and we love America.Ē


The Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico was founded in 1979 as the Ripley House Ballet Folklorico, and notified of its recognition as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service on March 21, 1991. The dance company, comprised of students 4 years of age and older, interprets traditional dances from Mexico, Ecuador, and Texas. The goals of this company are to:  preserve traditional Hispanic folk dances, promote cultural awareness among company members and the general public, and foster goodwill between the cultures within the Houston community and between Houston and other countries.

A member of the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County; the Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico has performed at:  every Houston International Festival since 1980, the New Orleans World Fair in 1984, the 450th anniversary festivities of the founding of Guayaquil, Ecuador (the first Sister City of Houston in South America) as goodwill ambassadors in 1987, the Sixth Festival of International Junior Folklore in Nice, France and Dortmound, Germany in 1988, a cultural exchange program arranged by the Consulate General of Mexico in 1991, which scheduled the group's performances in the 4 major cities in the Republic of Mexico, a tour of Washington, DC in 1993, arranged by then Hon. Representative Gene Green of Houston, the Consul General of the Republic of Mexico, and the Washington, DC Ecuadorian community, and included performances at the White House, the Capitol, the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, and the Casa de la Cultura Mexicana, a cultural exchange between Oaxaca Folklorico Ballets and Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico occurred in 1995, arranged by the Tourism Development Director from Government of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1996, Pilar Medina, a celebrated Mexican dancer, taught a workshop for the troupe in flamenco and traditional Mexican dances while she was in Houston for a Society for the Performing Arts production, in 1997, won first place in the First Competition of traditional Mexican Dances "Mexico Lindo y Querido" sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico which was held at The Miller Outdoor Theater. in 1998, March 27 and 28 won First Place all-around at the "Viva Aztlan Theater and Dance Festival", in which 30 dance groups competed from Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.  In 2000, the group participated at the National Hispanic Journalist Conferences attended by then, Texas Governor, George W. Bush.

The Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico has sponsored the Annual Folklorico Unidos workshop for the past twelve years.  This is open to individuals throughout the Houston/Harris County area.  Guest choreographers are invited to train and perform for students in the dances of Mexico, Central and South American countries, and Africa.  An ongoing exhibit documenting the arts, dance, and culture of the countries involved is incorporated in the workshop format.  In 2001, a smaller workshop was begun in June as a part of the Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Summer Program.

New instructors were hired in 2000, and a new curriculum was put in place on a much more rigorous training than previously existed.  Emphasis has been placed on technique and fundamentals (especially with the large number of beginning students).  This year a few of the dance sites have been the Houston International Festival, The Houston Zoo, Bradyís Landing, and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  Performances in the future will be at San Jacinto Monument and Reliant Stadium.  The Recital for 2004 will be held at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.  The all-volunteer Board of Directors is comprised of parents, leaders and business people within the community.  Volunteers are drawn from the ranks of parents of Ballet members.  They are utilized to provide coordination, transportation, bookkeeping, fundraising, scheduling services, as well as production services which includes set-building, costume design and fabrication.  The Tejano Association for Historical Preservation congratulates Mrs. Nelly Fraga, Ex. Director on the upcoming 25th Anniversary, her role in the outstanding dedication of cultural preservation, excellence of the development of the arts and role of cultural ambassador.  For more information about A. I. B. F. call 713-315-6400.

The Seguin Descendants Historical Preservation will hold their 2nd annual picnic Oct. 25, 2003 at the San Jacinto Battlefield State Park from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. honoring the descendants of all those who fought at San Jacinto.  For more info. please call 713-643-1195 or email Angel Seguin Garcia at atexhero@aol.com

The 5th Annual Cesar Chavez Parade will be held April 3, 2004.  If you would like to serve on the planning committee please contact Linda Alonzo Saenz, President of T. A. H. P. at 713-540-5449.

The 13th Annual Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead Celebration will be held Oct. 10 from 6:00 p.m. Ė 8:00 p.m. at the City Hall Visitorís Center and Annex Bldg.  From 6:30-7:00 p.m. the move Aponoyaya:  The River of the Dead:  Museo Guadalupe Aztlan (Houston) Celebrates Day of the Dead, Director:  Jesus Cantu Medel, M.Ed., and Martin DeLeon will be shown.  See how a museum in Houston celebrates their 10th celebration of Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead.  Followed by the film Syncretism by Director JoAnn Gutierrez .  Homage to Tenochitilan:  An Installation for Day of the Dead, Director Elizabeth Sher will also be shown by 7:15 p.m. Ė 7:40 p.m.  The celebration will end with the showing of Dia de los Muertos:  The Last of the 20th Century (Dia de los Muertos:  El Fin de El Siglo Viente), Director Luis Valdovino and Dan Boord.

Mr. Medel is also planning a Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Hollywood Cemetery at 3506 North Main at 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2003.  For more information contact Mr. Jesus Cantu Medel, M.Ed., of Museo Guadalupe Aztlan, 3004 Bagby Houston, Texas 77007.  You can phone him at 713-225-1935 or email him at chano6_@hotmail.com

Condolences are extended to T.A.H.P. member and outstanding award winning educator, Bea Ramirez Svambera and family on the loss of their loved one.  Our thoughts are with her and her family.