Tejano Association for Historical Preservation will be holding a meeting and
election of new officers on January 21, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the Latino Learning
Center 3522 Polk, Houston, Texas. 77003. Nominations
for Officers have been selected and the slate is President, Loretta Martinez
Williams, 1st Vice President, Richard Perez, 2nd Vice
President Margarito “Gunny” Vasquez, Treasurer\Special Projects Linda Saenz,
Advisors Dr. Emilio Sarabia, Joel Lara, Joe Granados and Benny C. Martinez.
If you would like your name added to the slate of officers nominations
will be taken from the floor. Please
join us as we will also be discussing the 7th Annual Cesar E. Chavez
Parade which will be held April 8, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. beginning at Cesar Chavez
Blvd. and Capitol in Houston’s East End.
Elementary HISD School on 620 E. Canino was officially dedicated on November 4,
2005. Elected officials who attended
the event were Honorable Senator Mario Gallegos, Honorable State Representatives
Jessica Farrar, Jim Dunnam, Rick Noriega and Tommy Merritt.
Also in attendance were various elected officials, Judge Richard Vara,
Judge Armando Rodriguez, Honorable Commissioner Sylvia Garcia Precinct 2, HISD
School Board Member Manuel Rodriguez, and Ex City Councilman Felix Fraga and Dr.
Abelardo Saavedra, Superintendent of Schools of HISD.
Numerous members of the
Family were also in attendance and the children of the
performed a fitting musical tribute. Students
from each grade made a special presentation to the
Family of various items, symbolic of the contributions of the
Representative. One special gift
consisted of seeds and the children invited the family back to the school to
help them plant them in a special garden. Phillipa
Young of Community Education Partners also presented the family with a special
oak tree. Tejano Association for
Historical Preservation President Linda Alonzo Saenz presented the family and
school with a portrait by the artist Luis Fernando Garza to which the standing
room audience gave a standing applause. Mariachis
also performed a song, “El Rey,” that was a favorite of the late
Representative and a reception followed. It
was a fitting tribute and memorable day honoring the life of the late State
Representative Joe E.
who has gone on but will not be forgotten.
held their annual Day of the Dead Festival, “Honoring Our Past, Celebrating
Our Future,” which began Oct. 29, 2005 and was also held on Sunday Oct. 30.
MECA is located at 1900 Kane,
, phone # 713-802-9370. A
cultural cornu copiae of music, entertainment and food was available for two
days. Various groups such as the
Houston Balalaika Society, Kuumba House Dance Theatre, Mariachi MECA, joined by
their Ballet Folklorico Department, Sirrom School of Dance, Del Espadin Baile
Espanol & Gabriella La Tempestad, Sargram School of Classical Vocal and
Instrumental Music, Ambassadors International, Cleola Williams and Wilford Davis
performed on two stages, indoor and outdoor.
A surprise visit was also paid by Pancho Claus,
There were 25 altars on exhibit throughout the building
displaying photos, images of loved ones, their favorite foods and mementoes.
This exhibit was available for viewing for the month of November.
1st place went to Sotero Rubio by the Contreras Family, 2nd place was
awarded to Monjas Dominicas del Convento de
(Creadores del Mole Poblano) by Casa
and 3rd place to Constable Raul C. Martinez by the Tejano Association for
Historical Preservation constructed by Loretta Martinez Williams.
Of special interest to LULAC members were:
# 4 Those in our lives who have passed on constructed by Bellaire High
School, HISD LULAC Youth Group. # 17
Constable Raul C. Martinez - Tejano Association for Historical Preservation
(constructed by Loretta Martinez Williams, also a member of LULAC Council #
60) and # 24 Lucy Cantu Medel Museo Guadalupe Aztlan (constructed by Jesus
Medel, also a member of LULAC Council # 60)
If you are interested in participating in this event next
year, please contact Clarissa L Valdez, Media & Public Relations Coordinator; Outreach/Volunteer
or 713- 802-9370.
The following info. is a profile of the Ex. Director of
MECA Alice Elizabeth Valdez and obtained from http://www.meca-houston.org/Alice/index.html
Alice Elizabeth Valdez was born in
on June 2, 1947, to Bertha and Jose Vargas. One
of five children, Alice learned at a young age about independent and creative
thinking, as well as the importance of individualism. Bertha
and Jose Vargas, who were very active in their neighborhood Catholic Church,
encouraged their children to dedicate their time to their church and community.
enjoyed music as a child, and began singing music liturgy and studying the
clarinet. Her parents' efforts in
combating socioeconomic inequality in
, through organized food drives and community-based economic assistance
to an understanding of the effects of poverty on the human spirit, and formed
her resolve to continue their efforts in her own life.
decided to continue her music studies, switching from clarinet to oboe. She
began studying with Richard Henderson, an oboist with the
symphony, and, through his mentorship, refined her talents as a performer, and
was the first chair oboist throughout high school. She
decided to major in music at the college level, and, when the time came, was
offered music scholarships at
State University, as well as the
. She accepted a full scholarship at
UT El Paso, and went on to perform with the
ballet, opera and symphony, in addition to her studies with UT El Paso's
orchestra and band programs. While
this rigorous training and discipline served as a training ground for future
community work, it led to an appreciation and understanding of the importance of
the role of aesthetics in daily life which she resolved to incorporate somehow
into her future.
had been continuing her work with economically disadvantaged minorities in the
area, and through an informal study she conducted as a student at UT El Paso
revealed the extent of the socioeconomic inequality.
made a personal commitment to reach, through music education, youth and adults
in poverty level communities. While
at UTEP she was a member of Tau Bet Sigma sorority and Sigma Alpha Iota music
honors fraternity. After graduating
with her husband Roberto G. Valdez, and began teaching minority youth in the
. Roberto and Alice moved to
in 1971, and
began her studies towards a Masters Degree in Musicology from the
. In addition to being pregnant with
her first daughter, Clarissa, she began teaching religion and music courses at
Living in Bellaire through this period,
felt isolated from the Hispanic community and culture, and with her family
began attending Saint Joseph Catholic Church, located in
's Old Sixth Ward. Shortly, after, Alice and Roberto became responsible for the
religious education program at
became the Director of Music Liturgy.
worked for Gulf Coast Community Services as a youth counselor. She
and Roberto were asked to develop an alternative education arts program by Sam
Rosales, S.J., who was pastor of
at the time. Alice and Roberto were
the founders and first directors of the Saint Joseph Multi Ethnic Festival
Committee, and through the recommendation of the Cultural Arts Council of
Houston, incorporated the festival with her newly minted Multicultural Education
and Counseling through the Arts. MECA,
which has grown from serving 300 students to almost 3,000 annually, provides
through private and public funding, experience in the performing and visual arts
to low income, at risk youth in
's near downtown neighborhoods. MECA
was designated the 382nd Point of Light by President George Herbert Walker Bush,
and through Alice's direction, a major inner city art park was constructed by
local youth in the Old Sixth Ward. This
park, which won the American Institute of Architects award for Public Art, is
home to artwork by several winning artists, and whose mural, A United Community,
is a well-known landmark in the Old Sixth Ward.
was awarded a place in the Hispanic Women's Hall of Fame in 1989 and that same
year won the Fiestas Patrias Distinguished Hispanic award. She
was also the recipient of the Jefferson Award for community service, and was
honored by such diverse groups as LULAC, and the Alley Theater, and has spoken
at the commencement of the Chinquapin school. She
is revered by her community as an advocate for social and cultural reform, and
by her family as a devoted wife and mother.
In 1999 Alice Valdez was honored to be included in the Mayor's Millennium
Makers, Vol. I. The Mayor's
Millennium Makers Series contains Evin Thayer photographs of native and adopted
Houstonians who have contributed to
's growth and development from a small settlement on the bayou into an
international city. The proceeds
from the publication of the book will fund the Evin Thayer Scholarship Fund of
the Greater Houston Community Foundation; making it possible for talented young
people to continue their study of the arts.
In December 2000, the YWCA of Houston named Alice E. Valdez
an Outstanding Woman of Achievement in the Arts as part of their 22nd Annual
Outstanding Women's Luncheon. In the
summer of 2001, Mrs. Valdez joined the board of directors of NALAC (National
Association of Latino Arts and Culture). Just
recently, the Hispanic school administrators awarded
with the Estrella award in recognition of her longstanding commitment to
education for all.
Tejano Association for Historical Preservation salutes the efforts of
MECA and Alice E. Valdez, Executive Director, a woman with a vision of enriching
our youth through the arts and preserving our culture through future
December 12, 2005, MECA celebrated the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with
Fiesta Guadalupana. It is believed that in 1531, on the hill of Tepeyac, a man
named Juan Diego was surprised by the appearance of a beautiful dark-skinned
woman who, calling the Indian “my son,” declared herself to be the Virgin
Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Using Juan Diego as her messenger, she asked
for the bishop to build her a church on the hill of Tepeyac. On December 12, the
Virgin Mary presented Juan Diego with the proof that was ordered from the
bishop, an image of the Virgin Mary on his cloak. Millions throughout the nation
gather on this day to honor “La Reina de Mexico.” More than just a religious
symbol, the Virgin Mary has become a cultural icon millions around the world pay
homage to, becoming a part of the everyday lives of many.
continues to observe this
celebration with performances by Mariachi MECA as people gathered outdoors at
the Virgin statue (created by Paul Kittelson). A
procession followed into the auditorium where liturgical music and dance
performed by MECA faculty and students. Performances
included "ceremonial dances from the genre of concheros carrying ancient
beliefs of the people of
. Many of nature's elements - wind,
fire, and rain - are venerated in ritualistic dance. Adorned
in trimmings of gold and flowing feathers, amid the burning incense, dancers use
conch shells to call to an era long passed.” “Los
matachines denotes a traditional religious dance and the dancers, musicians, and
elders who participate in it. Most
modern versions rely heavily on representations of the Virgin Mary and the Holy
Music and dance honoring La Virgen de Guadalupe transcends all age
and cultural barriers. The devotional songs and music celebrate culture,
tradition, heritage, and history. A
Virgin of Guadalupe Art display is currently on exhibit at Meca celebrating the
Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
You are cordially
invited to attend the Dec. 16, 2005 MECA Winter
Multicultural Recital at 7:30 p.m. at
MECA's Dow School Campus located in Houston's Old Sixth Ward 1900 Kane Houston,
TX 77007. Admission fee is $1.00 For
Children and $2.00 For Adults.
For more info. visit MECA’s
website to read about their ongoing classes, numerous cultural and visual art
exhibits celebrating our heritage, music, dance and arts.
or contact Clarissa
L. Valdez of MECA at 713-802-9370 or by
, A TEJANA PIONEER
Estella Martinez Zermeno granddaughter of Paula Lozano Martinez
Trinidad de la Garza Lozano was born in 1838 at Rancho
Alamito in Refugio Country to Gertrudis Becerra and Francisco de la Garza.
She was the first grandchild of Juana Cadena and Don Manuel Becerra, a
prominent figure in La Bahia Goliad and Refugio area.
He was also the founder of the 9000 acre Alamito Ranch located on
by Copano Creek. These were hard
and critical times in
was a happy little girl, and she was the pride and joy of her grandfather Don
Manuel Becerra. At an early age he
taught her to ride horses and how to read and write.
By age twelve death claimed
's mother and her beloved grandfather, she was broken hearted and took over the
care of her siblings, Genoveva, Rosalia, and the infant Antonio de la Garza.
Her father Francisco de la Garza remarried in the early
felt responsible for the care of the house and her siblings and suddenly grew
into a young lady. She enjoyed
helping her father with the farm work and taking care of the horses and other
animals. She could hitch a wagon or
buggy at an early age. She would
take her siblings to visit their cousins and they participated in social events.
She attended church socials such as holidays, weddings, and baptisms, etc.
Very often she was asked to be a madrina, a sponsor at a baptism or a
witness at a wedding. In January of
and Dennis O'Connor were sponsors at the baptism of Jose Maria Lupito Hermendez,
born Sept 1864 son of Guadalupe and Felipa Hernandez.
This baptism took place at Don Carlos Rancho's Chapel.
This would indicate that they were all friends.
Eventually the O'Connor family ended up with most if not all of Don
Manuel Becerra's land. The famous
Ranchero Don Carlos de la Garza was a cousin of Francisco de la Garza, her
The Becerra, de la Garza family had many friends including
Miguel Lozano and Facunda Cabazos from Papalote Rancho who were the parents of
Juan Elias, Miguel Jr., Salvador, and Crisoforo .
In the early part of the civil war in the 1860's all four brothers joined
the Refugio County Home Guards Units. Crisoforo
reached the rank of Second Lieutenant. They
later disbanded and many joined the Confederate Army, including Juan Elias
Lozano, who served until 1864. Sometime
after he again met the beautiful
at a diez y seis de Septiembre (Sept.16) celebration, a courtship developed and
soon they fell in love. Three years
later on June 5, 1867 Juan Elias Lozano and Trinidad de la Garza were married at
the Presidio Our Lady of Loreto Chapel at La Bahia-Goliad.
They built a small cabin at Alamito Ranch and settled down to a happy
life. By now two of her siblings
were married, and she was ready to enjoy her life.
She helped her husband farm and they raised cattle, sheep, hogs, a few
mules but their main source of income came from horses which they raised and
sold. Juan Elias designed their
branding iron and registered it at the
courthouse on April 13, 1869. Life
was good and Juan Elias along with his Castillo cousins would go to
to buy jewelry and other goods for their wives and families.
Early in 1870
's younger sister, Genoveva de la Garza married Miguel Lozano the brother of
Juan Elias. The following year a
daughter Paula was born to Genoveva and Miguel.
Sad times fell upon the de la Garza-Lozano family as Genoveva died
shortly after Paula was born. The grieving
and Juan Elias who were childless took in the infant girl Paula.
Paula became their beloved and only child.
Time went on and the child Paula brought happiness back into their home.
By the mid 1870's Anglos begin to harass the families at
Alamito Ranch. Her brother Antonio
de la Garza and his wife Ponposa Bontan were being harassed and threatened, his
animals slaughtered and his barns burned by Anglos who coveted their lands.
Ponposa's brother was murdered in Refugio and Anglos came to the ranch
and told them that the same fate would happen to Antonio if he stayed at the
ranch. The worried Ponposa with two
small children convinced her husband to flee to La Bahia for the safety of their
The harassments continued but the Confederate war veteran
Juan Elias Lozano, being
older then his brother in law Antonio de la Garza, would not be intimidated into
abandoning his land. One fateful
day, two years later in August of 1877, Juan Elias told Trinidad that he would
be going into the town of
, to collect some money owned to him and to meet with some men who wanted to
talk to him about land. Juan Elias
bid goodbye to
and their child Paula not knowing it would be for the last time. Some hours
later his mare returned home, without him, the alarmed
mounted the mare and went in search of him, she found him critically wounded
under a tree. She managed to help
him get on the mare and took him home, and then she sent a nephew to Refugio to
fetch a doctor. Juan Elias Lozano
lived a few days but never regained full consciousness or spoke.
was devastated and broken hearted as was the six year old Paula.
Even though the Becerra cemetery was located just one hundred yards from
chose to bring his body to La Bahia where her brother lived and where she had
married her beloved Juan Elias. After
the funeral mass at the Presidio chapel he was buried at the La Bahia cemetery.
Perhaps she knew that sooner or later she too would be coming to La
Bahia. She returned to her ranch to
carry on and two young nephews came to live with her. She never found out who
was responsible for Juan Elias Lozano’s murder, there were many rumors, even
soldiers had killed him but she knew that was not true.
managed to hold on to her land for another five or six years.
In an inventory of her property that was done for tax purposes in 1880
the estate was valued at $975.00. By
now her ranch had been reduced to 200 acres.
had two young nephews, Francisco Lambaria and Trinidad Lambaria, the sons of
Rosalia de la Garza and Elogio Lambaria who were living with her and the child
Paula to help with the chores. Their
parents, Rosalia de la Garza and Elogio Lambaria had since passed away.
The harassment continued, and an Anglo man whom Paula in a written
statement of many years later would identify as Hak Gaines would come on
horseback to the ranch to tell Trinidad to get out of the ranch, that it no
longer belonged to her. The land
grabbers used many scare tactics, such as crying and moaning sounds coming from
the cemetery and galloping around the house on horseback with burning torches.
On these nights the brave but worried
would sit by the front door of the cabin with the musket that her husband had
used during the Civil War across her lap. By
now her horses, which she continued to raise, sheep, and other animals were
being slaughtered. Paula had her own
milk cow and early one morning
found the cow with her throat slashed, she hurried to wake up the nephews so
that they could remove the cow before the child Paula would wake up as she would
be broken hearted.
The time came when the widow
was no longer able to cope with the harassment and decided to leave the ranch.
She sold some stock, salvaged what she could and with the help of her
brother and brothers in law moved to La Bahia.
She bought 185 acres west of the Presidio in La Bahia and stayed at her
brother's while a small cabin was built for her and Paula.
Soon, she deeded 50 acres to Antonio de la Garza who soon built a small
cabin, perhaps to spend some time there and look after his sister.
She continued to raise to horses for a living, a few sheep,
some hogs, a milk cow, and did some farming. She
kept her buggy that she brought from her ranch and on Sundays and other special
days she and Paula would go to La Bahia or other ranches and visit and enjoy the
day. The loss of her land was often
discussed in the presence of adults yet the children often eavesdropped to hear
the history of the past. Antonio de
la Garza, her brother lamented the loss of the land until his last day.
During the Christmas season, the cabin of Antonio and his
wife Ponposa in La Bahia would have many buggies and wagons on their land from
the many cousins including
and Paula who would come and spend a few days with them.
The men would butcher hogs and the women would make coffee, hot
chocolate, tamales, cakes, buńuelos, and other delicacies.
They spent most of their time cooking delicious meals.
All would attend midnight mass at the Presidio Our Lady of Loreto chapel
which is a short distance from the house. They
visited and had a good time together.
Paula Lozano grew up and in December of 1890 she married
Apolonio Martinez who
had come to Goliad from
fifteen years before.
was happy to see her daughter married, as her own health was beginning to fail.
Soon Paula blessed her with grandchildren, which made
Sadly on February 23, 1894,
called her brother Antonio and two witnesses, Juan Rubio Jr. (Antonio's son in
law) and W.J. Lott to her bedside to witness her last will and testament.
She named Antonio as her executor.
passed away March 11, 1894 at the age of 56.
Her funeral mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Loreto Chapel at the
Presidio and she was buried next to her beloved Juan Elias at the La Bahia
Cemetery. Once again she would be
reunited with her beloved husband. For
Paula and the many people saying goodbye to the beautiful, strong willed,
caring, and hardworking
, this was a very sad day.
Her will was probated August 11, 1894 in the brand new
Goliad County Court house, which still is in existence to this day.
Of her small ranch of 134 acres she bequeathed her nephews Anselmo Patino
20 acres and Ignacio Patino 10 acres. Jose
Garza was given 10 acres and Tulis Lozano 10 acres.
The balance of her acreage and her personal property she bequeathed to
her daughter Paula Lozano. The value
of her property at this time was $1076.00. Even
up to her death
was still raising horses and at the time of her death she had 23 horses.
Her daughter Paula mourned her beloved Aunt and adopted Mother for a long
long time. She always remembered
On November 11, 2005
Veterans Day, a dedication was held of the unveiling of the bronze plaques
containing the history of the formation of
on 1800 Tidwell,
. The event was coordinated by
the President of the
Foundation Richard Perez. Dignitaries
and elected officials present for the dedication were Honorable Congressman Gene
Green, Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Alicia Moreno, (parents of the late State Rep. Joe
E. Moreno). Honorable Adrian Garcia,
City Councilman District H, was one of the speakers.
Honored guests were Domingo Trevino, Ernest Eguia, and Jesse Campos, all
WWII veterans. Frank de Leon
Montemayor, a schoolmate of Richard Perez was killed in
in May of 1967. His parents, Mr.
and Mrs. Santiago Montemayor and other family members were also present.
Mr. Perez made a promise to the Montemayor family over thirty years ago
that he would do something to honor their son. This
park is a testament to the sacrifice that he made and the ultimate sacrifice all
veterans have made for our country. The
poet Lynn Juarez whose poem, “Our Heroes,” is emblazoned in the plaque in
bronze was also in attendance. Margarito
Cano Vasquez, Commander of the Disabled American Veterans San Jacinto Chapter 1,
Domingo Marquez, American GI Forum Lucian Adams Chapter, John Martinez of the
Veterans in Postal Service, Jesse Saldana of the VFW Post #8930, Mr. Milton
White and S.L. Chaver both of the Disabled American Veterans San Jacinto Chapter
1 were also present and participated in the ceremony.
The event was very moving and memorable.
Tejano Association for Historical Preservation salutes all our veterans.
Mr. Tom Green, President Elect
of the Sons of the American Revolution, Texas
Society, Hill Country District Representative of the Sons of the Republic of
Texas, member of the Texas Army and Texas Navy has diligently coordinated the
ceremony of the Battle of Medina with The Texas Society Sons of the American
Revolution William Hightower Chapter 35 each August in Atascosa County on Old
Applewhite Road. This year it was
held on August 20, 2005 in the outskirts of
west of the community of Espey. A
few of those in attendance at the 192nd anniversary ceremony were
Robert Benavides, Past President of the Sons of the
Texas Travis Chapter
, and Chairman of the Board of the San Antonio Living History Association. Rudy
“Tejano Pena” of Corpus Christi and Dan
Arrellano the author of “Tejano Roots, A Family Legend,” were also present
Mr. Green also spearheaded the efforts for the compilation of the history
and the application process for the
state historical subject marker commemorating the Battle of Medina.
state historical subject marker was unveiled on August 18, 2005.
There were over 125 guests in attendance.
The Tejano Association for Historical Preservation thanks him for his
hard work, dedication to history and its preservation.
The following is the text of the
Historical Subject Marker of the
’ bloodiest military engagement – the
may have taken place in the vicinity in 1813.
The early 19th century was a time of political upheaval and in
1812 while the
was at war with
faced revolts throughout Latin American, including
. In this revolutionary climate,
Americans and others began efforts to influence the fate of
, of which
was a province.
Bernardo-Gutierrez and Lt. A. W. Magee marched from
in 1812 with their Republican Army of the North.
Capturing Nacogdoches and Trinidad, they moved on to Presidio La Bahia,
where they survived a four month siege by Spanish Governors and their Royalist
Forces; The Royalists retreated toward San Antonio in February 1813; and in
March the Republic Army followed them and was ambushed in the Battle of Rosillo.
The Republicans persevered, captured
and executed the Spanish Governors; Gutierrez’s
with its Green Flag was marked by internal problems.
troops under Gen. Joaquin De Arredondo to retake
. Among his men was Antonio Lopez de
Santa Anna, later
’s leader during the
Revolution. The Republicans marched
on Aug. 15, 1813 with about 1,400 troops, American volunteers, Tejanos,
Mexicans and Native Americans, led across the plains south of the
. The fatigued army faced Spanish
troops on Aug. 18 and was soundly defeated, fewer than 100 escaped, most were
executed. The Spanish left the
decimated Texans on the battlefield and proceeded to
to punish citizens who supported independence.
Eight years later,
leaders ordered the remains of the fallen soldiers to be buried under an oak
tree on the battlefield. Although
the exact site of the battle has yet to be determined, the story remains an
important part of history.
you to Mr. Tom Green for preserving our TX history and sending in the photo of
the dedication of the
Historical Subject Marker for the
Thank you to members Alfred Flores Jr., Rafael Enriquez,
Alfonso and Ruth Matta, Linda Peterson, R.K. & S. A. Roberts, Lola Slater
Sanchez, Mr. and Mrs. James Travlos, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Granados, Ms. Bea Svambera,
Daniel Gonzalez, Jan DeVault, Mr. and Mrs. Joel Lara for renewing their
membership. A special thank you is
extended to Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2 Sylvia Garcia for purchasing
an advertisement in the upcoming Cesar E. Chavez Parade Brochure.
The dues of $25.00 and donations make the projects a reality of the
Tejano Association for Historical Preservation.
Please contact Linda Alonzo Saenz at 713-540-5449 if you would like to
purchase an ad for the Cesar E. Chavez parade brochure.
input regarding the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation newsletters
Williams by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alonzo Saenz, President
Williams, 1st Vice
Perez, 2nd Vice President
C. Vasquez, Board Member
Emilio Sarabia, Advisory Board Member
C. Martinez, Advisory Board Member