Mi Tierra
Open 24 Hours

our story

In 1941, Pedro and Cruz Cortez opened a little three-table cafe for early-rising farmers and workers at San Antonio’s Mercado. Sixty years later Mi Tierra Cafe is a world-famous landmark - the place hometown regulars and hungry tourists go for authentic Mexican food and a warm Texas welcome.

Pedro’s and Cruz’s children and grandchildren continue the family tradition of good food and big-hearted hospitality at Mi Tierra, which now seats over 500 and is still located in Market Square, El Mercado.

The Mural

The Mural was created by Jorge Cortez to honor the founders of Mi Tierra, Pedro and Cruz Cortez. This mural serves as a testament to the success achieved by Don Pedro Cortez through hard work and determination, the “American Dream”, and thus the name of our Mural.

Throughout the years the mural has grown, both in size and popularity. What began as a memorial to our founders has since become one of the biggest attractions in our restaurant, drawing visitors from around the world to this famous landmark.

Today, the American Dream mural is a celebration to the achievements and success of Hispanic leaders in our community. 

"The American Dream"

By Artist Roberto Ytuarte

Internationally-known artist and San Antonio native, Robert Ytuarte restored and updated the “American Dream” mural and is now the resident artist at Mi Tierra Café y Panadería. A unique combination of study, work and travel has allowed Robert to develop an unusually powerful style that is unique among his peers. Early in his career in San Francisco, he focused on learning the techniques of the old masters, studying and painting portraits. Later, he moved to New Orleans where he developed the singular method of combining different media to create sepia portraits that have become his trademark. Since returning home to San Antonio, Robert has been perfecting and expanding his talents, showing his work and contributing artwork for fundraisers. In 1995, the San Antonio Spurs organization commissioned Robert to create “Motion Portraits of George Gervin and James Silas,” which has been seen by thousands of fans at the Alamodome. Robert continues to create powerful paintings that focus on Hispanic heritage.

Place Your Cursor Over The Mural To See Who's Who

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Frida Kahlo

Mexican Painter

Rosita Fernández

Mexican-American Singer and Actress

Cheech Marin

American Actor

Carlos Santana

Musician

Eva Longoria

Actress

Vikki Carr

Singer

Robert Rodríguez

Filmmaker, Screenwriter, and Musician

Vicente Fernández

Ranchera Singer

Gilberto Puente

Singer

Dr. Carlos Orozco

Physician

Humberto Saldaña

Architect

Judge Juan F. Vasquez

Judge of the United States Tax Court

Ricardo Romo

Former President of The University of Texas at San Antonio

Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez

Texas Representative

Charlie Gonzalez

Texas Representative

Henry Cisneros

Politician & Businessman

Congressman Joaquín Castro

Congressman

Secretary Julian Castro

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Heriberto "Berto" Guerra, Jr.

Businessman

Jaime Martinez

Labor and Civil Rights Activist

Cesar Chavez

Civil Rights, Latino and Farm Labor Leader

William C. Velásquez

Founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Projec

Jesse Treviño

Artist

Leticia Van de Putte

Politician

Lionel Sosa

Artist and Marketing Consultant

José Olmos

Mi Tierra Manager

Esperanza "Hope " Andrade

Politician

Congressman Frank M. Tejada

Politician

Elvira Cisneros

Activist

Master Sgt. Raul Perez Roy Benavidez

United States Army Special Forces

Eusebio Trujillo

Dr. Ellen Riojas-Clark

Physician

Fernando Reyes

Businessman, Entrepreneur, and Community Leader

Max Navarro

Founder of Operational Technologies Corporation

Beatrice "Bibi" Peña

Mi Tierra's First Cashier

Henry Reed

Ralph Hernandez

Founder of The Little Red Barn Stakehouse

Dr. Gloria Rodriguez

Activist

Ruben Mungia, Sr.

Career Printer

Jose Luis Villagomez

The Villalobos

Frank Herrera

Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board

Cesar Millan

Best-Selling Author

Archbishop Patrick Flores

First Mexican American to become bishop of the Catholic Church

Father Virgilio Elizondo

Mexican American Roman Catholic Priest and Community Activist

Rosalinda Cortez

Pedro and Cruz Cortez

Founders of Mi Tierra

Oscar Jung

Ricardo Montalvo

Pedro Infante

Actor and Singer

John Quiñones

Anchor of "What Would You Do?"

Henry Muñoz III,

Entrepeneur, Award-Winning Designer, Cultural Activist, and Well-Respected Philanthropist

Rosemary Kowalski

Founder of Rosemary's Catering

Manuel Cortez

David Cortez

Second Generation Restaurateur and Leader of the Texas Foodservice Industry

Jorge Cortez

Ruben Cortez

Francisco I. Madero

Organized the Anti-Reelectionist Party

Raúl Cortez

Emiliano Zapata

Mexican Revolutionary and Advocate of Agrarianism

Venustiano Carranza

Mexican Civil War Leader

Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier

Leader in Education

Diego Rivera

Artist

Pancho Villa

Revolutionary

Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez

Chef Raúl Salazar

Ricardo G. Cedillo

Co-Founder of Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, INC.

Pete Cortez

Michael Cortez

Third Generation Restaurateur

Christina Cortez

Cruz Cortez

Deborah Cortez

Artist

Raúl A. Almaguer

Rosita Fernandez's Husband

Juan Ortiz, Campanas de America

Musical Director and Manager to Campanas de America

Selena Quintanilla Perez

Recording Artist

Francisco Villalobos, Jr.

Edward James Olmos

Actor

Sandra Cisneros

American Writer and poet

Cortez Grandparents

José María Morelos

Revolutionary

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla

Mexican Catholic Priest

The Larlos

Freddy and Ninfa Garcia

Victory Outreach Ministry

Benito Juarez

President of Meixo (1861-1872)

Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar

Former Secretary of the Interior

Master Sergeant Cleto Rodriguez

Francisco I. Madero

Francisco Villalobos, Sr.

Raúl Jimenez

Restaurant Owner and Businessman

Teresa Champion

Dancer

Willie "El Curro" Champion

Flamenco Artist

Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto

Academic

Tino Duran

President of Duran Duran Industries and Publisher of La Prensa de San Antonio

Commissioner Paul Elizondo

Musical Pioneer

Dr. José San Martín

Optometrist

Dr. Hugo Castañeda

Physician

Frank Sepulveda

Gilbert Duran

Artist Non Grata

Luis Lopez

Artist

Armando Sánchez

Painter
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Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Mexican Painter

Artist Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico. Considered one of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida Kahlo began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954.

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Rosita Fernández

Rosita Fernández

Mexican-American Singer and Actress

Rosita Fernández (Monterrey, 1919–San Antonio, Texas, 2006), was a Mexican-American popular singer and actress. She was named "San Antonio's First Lady of Song" by Lady Bird Johnson, was a Tejano music singer, radio star, actress and humanitarian. She was born in Monterrey, Mexico and received her early education in Laredo, Texas. She moved with her family to San Antonio, Texas at age nine. She began her singing career at age 14, performing with her uncles in their group, Trio San Miguel. In 1932, she became the star of a radio program on WOAI in San Antonio, and in 1933 recorded jingles for several radio commercials. In 1949, she performed on the first broadcast on WOAI television, and later became a regular on several shows. In 1938, Fernandez married Raúl A. Almaguer, and the couple had two children. On the silver screen, she was cast as the main part in Sancho, The Homing Steer, a 1963 Disney made for TV movie. She also had roles in The Alamo with John Wayne in 1960, and in Three Hundred Miles for Stephanie, and Seguin. Beginning in the 1950s, Fernandez performed in the annual summer show Fiesta Noche del Rio at the Arneson River Theater on the San Antonio River. She also was a featured performer each spring at the A Night in Old San Antonio event at San Antonio's Fiesta celebration. Fernandez retired from performing in 1982. That same year, a bridge crossing the San Antonio River at the Arneson River Theater was named the "Rosita Bridge" in her honor. Other honors include induction into the San Antonio Musicians Hall of Fame in 1979, the Woman of the Year award in 1983, and induction into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame in 1984. Rosita Fernandez was named "San Antonio's First Lady of Song" for her sixty years of cultural contribution to the Mexican American musical traditions. She was a pioneer of corridos and ballads, which began much earlier than the mariachi movement. Rosita Fernández is now part of the Smithsonian Collections at the National Museum of American History with her china poblana dress, made in the 1960s.

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Cheech Marin

Cheech Marin

American Actor

Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor and writer who gained recognition as part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s and early 1980s with Tommy Chong, and as Don Johnson's partner, Insp. Joe Dominguez, on Nash Bridges. He has also voiced characters in several Disney productions, including Oliver & Company, The Lion King, It's Tough to Be a Bug!, Cars, Cars 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Marin's trademark is his characters' strong Mexican accents; this is part of his comic persona, as he was born and raised in the United States. Marin was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Oscar Marin, a policeman in the LAPD, and his wife Elsa (Meza), a secretary. He is Mexican American. Marin was born with a cleft lip, which was repaired. He speaks some Spanish and uses it in his movies, but he is not fluent.

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Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana

Musician

Carlos Santana (born July 20, 1947) is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music. The band’s sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin and African rhythms featuring percussion instruments such as timbales and congas not generally heard in rock music. Santana continued to work in these forms over the following decades. He experienced a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.

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Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Actress

Eva Jacqueline Longoria (born March 15, 1975) is an American actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman. Longoria’s career began in 1998, when she won the title of Miss Corpus Christi, and later began entering talent contests that led her to Los Angeles; shortly after, she was spotted and signed by a theatrical agent. Longoria’s breakout role was that of Isabella Braña on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless from 2001 to 2003. From 2004, she starred as Gabrielle Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives for 8 seasons ending in 2012. For her work on Desperate Housewives, she received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and five Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, winning two. Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, the youngest of four daughters born to ninth-generation Mexican-American (Tejano) parents Ella Eva (Mireles) and Enrique Longoria, Jr. She was raised Roman Catholic. While in high school she worked at a Wendy’s restaurant part-time for three years. Longoria received her Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology at nearby Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She received her master’s degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northbridge, in May 2013 following three years of study. Her thesis was entitled, “Success STEMS from Diversity: The Value of Latinas in STEM Careers.”

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Vikki Carr

Vikki Carr

Singer

Vikki Carr (born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona, July 19, 1941) is an American singer and humanitarian, of Mexican descent. She has performed in a variety of music genres, including jazz, pop and country, but has enjoyed her greatest success singing in Spanish. Cardona was born in El Paso, Texas. After taking the stage name 'Vikki Carr', she signed with Liberty Records in 1962. Her first single to achieve success was "He's a Rebel", which in 1962 reached #5 in Australia and #115 in the United States. Producer Phil Spector heard Carr cutting the song in the studio and immediately recorded a cover version billed to the Crystals that reached #1 in the United States. In 1966, Carr toured South Vietnam with actor/comedian Danny Kaye to entertain American troops there. The following year her album It Must Be Him was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards. The title track reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in 1967. "It Must Be Him" sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a gold disc. She had two other songs make the US Top 40: 1968's "The Lesson" and 1969's "With Pen in Hand". Around this time,Dean Martin called her "the best girl singer in the business". Carr had 10 singles that made the US pop charts and 13 albums that made the US pop-album charts.

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Robert Rodríguez

Robert Rodríguez

Filmmaker, Screenwriter, and Musician

Robert Anthony Rodríguez (born June 20, 1968) is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, and musician. He shoots and produces many of his films in Mexico and his home state, Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film El Mariachi, which was a commercial success after grossing $2 million against a budget of $7,000. The film spawned two sequels known collectively as the Mexico Trilogy: Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He directed From Dusk till Dawn in 1996 and developed its television adaptation series (2014–present). Rodriguez co-directed the 2005 neo-noir crime thriller anthology Sin City (adapted from the graphic novel of the same name) and the 2014 sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Rodriguez also directed the Spy Kids films, The Faculty, as well as The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, Planet Terror, and Machete. He is a friend and frequent collaborator of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who founded the production company A Band Apart, which Rodriguez was a member of. In December 2013, Rodriguez launched his own cable television channel, El Rey. Rodríguez was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Mexican-American parents Rebecca (née Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. He began his interest in film at age eleven, when his father bought one of the first VCRs, which came with a camera. While attending St. Anthony High School Seminary in San Antonio, Rodríguez was commissioned to videotape the school's football games. According to his sister, he was fired soon afterward as he had shot footage in a cinematic style, getting shots of parents' reactions and the ball traveling through the air instead of shooting the whole play. In high school he met Carlos Gallardo; they both shot films on video throughout high school and college. Rodriguez went to the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also developed a love of cartooning. Not having grades high enough to be accepted into the school's film program, he created a daily comic strip entitled Los Hooligans. Many of the characters were based on his siblings – in particular, one of his sisters, Maricarmen. The comic ran for three years in the student newspaper The Daily Texan, while Rodríguez continued to make short films.

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Vicente Fernández

Vicente Fernández

Ranchera Singer

Vicente "Chente" Fernández Gómez (born February 17, 1940) is a Mexican retired singer, actor, and film producer. Nicknamed as "El Rey de la Cancion Ranchera" (The King of Ranchera Music) throughout the Hispanosphere, Fernández started his career singing for tips on the street, and has since become a cultural icon, recording more than 50 albums and contributing to more than 30 films. He is the father of the popular singer Alejandro Fernández and Vicente Fernandez Jr, and uncle of Jackeline ("Jackie") Fernandez. For over 50 years, Vicente Fernandez has maintained his position as the greatest living singer of Mexico, gathering an operatic vocal range, with a deep understanding of the roots of ranchera music. He is renowned for his melodramatic voice.[citation needed] In the dozens of Mexican films in which he has been a star, a role he often was left to perfection: the proud charro, or Mexican cowboy. Although less well-known to English-speaking audiences, Fernandez has consistently filled stadiums and venues throughout his 55-plus years of performing.[citation needed] His repertoire consists of rancheras and other Mexican classics. He is accompanied live by a mariachi group, but he is not technically a mariachi musician, as he plays no instrument live. Fernandez's work has earned him two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, fourteen Lo Nuestro Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has sold over 50 million copies worldwide. He has an estimated net worth USD 25 million.

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Gilberto Puente

Gilberto Puente

Singer

Born in Nuevo León, but raised in Nuevo Laredo, Mexican Gilberto Puente began singing, along with his brother Raul Puente, in 1947 and formed a duo called Los Cuates Puente. They were joined in 1951 by Gustavo Puente and later Hermilio García, debuting in 1954 as Trio Puente García. After teaming up with José Porras and Chelo Silva in 1957, they moved to Mexico City, getting along with popular singer Virginia López and calling themselves Los Tres Reyes. In 1958, ex-Trio Los Panchos Hernando Aviles joined in, making their first record. Nevertheless, Los Tres Reyes disbanded in 1966. In the early '70s, Gustavo Puente started developing a successful career as a solo guitarist.

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Dr. Carlos Orozco

Dr. Carlos Orozco

Physician

Dr. Carlos Orozco and Dr. Hugo Castañeda, two San Antonio physicians who stopped by a park in Mexico City while they were on a medical mission, dedicated themselves to returning Milam to a people’s park. As a result of their discussions about the purpose and vision of Milam Park, the Friends of Milam Park was formed under the umbrella of the San Antonio Parks Foundation. That same year, the 10 foot high concrete walls build during the 1976 renovation project were knocked down to make way for the park’s latest renovation. The park was renovated to include game tables where senior citizens could play dominos and checkers; a children’s playscape and water feature; a walking/jogging trail; new benches and tress. The centerpiece of the park is the Jalisco Pavilion. Through Dr. Orozco’s efforts under the auspices of the Friends of Milam Park and the San Antonio Parks Foundation, volunteers from USAA, Fort Sam Houston, Valero and others laid 200,000 cherry red and mocha D’Hanis bricks in the park’s promenade in 1993 and 1994. Private donations made it possible to place 60 park benches throughout the park in those same years.

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Humberto Saldaña

Humberto Saldaña

Architect

Humberto Saldana founded Saldana & Associates, Inc., an Architectural, Urban Design and Planning Firm in 1973. The firm is housed in the historic Nauwald Building in the San Antonio Downtown Area. Saldana & Associates, Inc. has been recognized with many awards for outstanding architecture and design excellence from the American Institute of Architects, the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Texas Historic Commission. We have numerous repeat clients such as the San Antonio Independent School District, the University of Texas System, Alamo Community College District, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, City of San Antonio and Bexar County.

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Judge Juan F. Vasquez

Judge Juan F. Vasquez

Judge of the United States Tax Court

Juan F. Vasquez (born 1948 in Texas) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. Vasquez attended Fox Tech High School and San Antonio Junior College, where he studied Data Processing; he received a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin in 1972. After working for two years as an accountant, he attended one year of law school at the State University of New York in Buffalo, but earned his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1977, followed by an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University Law School in 1978. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Judge, United States Tax Court, on May 1, 1995, for a term ending April 30, 2010. On August 5, 2010, Judge Vasquez was nominated for reappointment by President Barack Obama, but the United States Senate failed to act on the nomination. Vasquez entered senior status on May 1, 2010, and remained on senior status while awaiting Senate confirmation of his nomination for reappointment. President Obama resubmitted the nomination on January 26, 2011. Vasquez was confirmed on October 13, 2011, for a term ending October 12, 2016.

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Ricardo Romo

Ricardo Romo

Former President of The University of Texas at San Antonio

Ricardo Romo became the fifth president of The University of Texas at San Antonio in May 1999. Under his leadership, UTSA was named by the Texas Legislature as an emerging Tier One research university and a leader in providing access to excellence in teaching, research and community outreach. During Romo’s tenure, UTSA’s enrollment has grown 68 percent, and the university has added numerous programs and facilities to enhance student life. The number of doctoral programs has increased from three to 24. A native of San Antonio’s West Side, Romo graduated from Fox Tech High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship. He was the first Texan to run the mile in less than four minutes, and his mile record lasted 41 years. He earned a B.S. degree in education (1967). Romo has received numerous special appointments. Romo holds a master’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University (1970) and a Ph.D. in history from UCLA (1975). A nationally respected urban historian, Romo is the author of “East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio,” now in its ninth printing (one in Spanish).

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Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez

Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez

Texas Representative

(May 3, 1916 – November 28, 2000) Henry Barbosa Gonzalez (born Enrique Barbosa Gonzalez) was a Democratic politician from the state of Texas. He represented Texas’ 20th congressional district from 1961 to 1999. Gonzalez was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Mexican-born parents Genoveva (née Barbosa) and Leonides Gonzalez (from Mapimi, Durango), who immigrated during the Mexican Revolution. He attended San Antonio College and the University of Texas at Austin, earning his undergraduate degree. Later, he received a Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law. During his tenure as Chairman of the Banking Committee, González had to deal with the collapse of the savings and loan industry, a crisis he had predicted throughout the 1980's. In 1991 he led a restructuring of the federal deposit insurance system. As Chairman he earned a reputation for being a fair leader who allowed equitable participation in the creation of bills.

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Charlie Gonzalez

Charlie Gonzalez

Texas Representative

Charles Augustine “Charlie” Gonzalez (born May 5, 1945) is a Democratic politician from Texas. He represented Texas’ 20th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2013. He served as Chairman of Latinos for Obama and National Co-Chair of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Charlie Gonzalez is a member of the New Democrat Coalition. He is generally seen as less confrontational than his father, who once punched someone for calling him a communist. Between them, the father and son represented the 20th for 52 consecutive years; the only father and son combination to serve longer in the House has been the Dingells of Michigan, who have represented the state’s 15th District for 80 consecutive years. Gonzalez announced on November 24, 2011 that he would not seek reelection in the 2012 congressional elections. He said he wanted a job that would allow him “to be productive and have the resources to make a better life” for himself and his family.

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Henry Cisneros

Henry Cisneros

Politician & Businessman

Henry Gabriel Cisneros (born June 11, 1947) is an American politician and businessman. He served as mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 1981 to 1989, the second Latino mayor of a major American city and city’s first since 1842 (when Juan Seguín was forced out of office). A Democrat, Cisneros served as the 10th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the administration of President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. As HUD Secretary, Cisneros was credited with initiating the revitalization of many public housing developments and with formulating policies that contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever rate of home ownership. In his role as the President’s chief representative to the cities, Cisneros personally worked in more than two hundred cities spread over all fifty states. After public office, Cisneros served as President and COO for the Spanish-language network Univision from 1997 to 2000 before forming American City Vista to work the nation’s leading homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. That company evolved to become City View where Cisneros is currently Chairman. He is currently a partner in the investment banking firm Siebert Brandford Shank & Co.

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Congressman Joaquín Castro

Congressman Joaquín Castro

Congressman

Joaquín Castro (born September 16, 1974) is an American politician who has served since 2013 in the United States House of Representatives for Texas’ 20th congressional district. The district includes just over half of his native San Antonio, Texas, as well as some of its nearby suburbs. From 2003 to 2013, he was a representative in the Texas House of Representatives for District 125. While in the Texas legislature Castro served as Vice-Chair of the Higher Education Committee and was a member of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee. He has previously served on the County Affairs Committee, Border & International Affairs Committee and the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee. Castro was born and reared in San Antonio and attended Thomas Jefferson High School. Castro has stated that his interest in public service developed at a young age from watching his parents’ involvement in political campaigns and civic causes. His father, Jessie Guzman, was a retired mathematics teacher from Englewood Independent School District in south San Antonio and his mother Marie “Rosie” Castro, a community activist. He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications and earned a Juris Doctorate with his twin brother at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After law school, the two brothers continued together to work for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005. In early summer of 2013, Castro became engaged to his girlfriend, Anna Flores. The announcement was made by his twin brother Julián on his Facebook page. The couple had a daughter in December 2013 and welcomed a son in February 2016.

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Secretary Julian Castro

Secretary Julian Castro

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Julián Castro (born September 16, 1974) is an American Democratic politician who has been the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development since July 28, 2014. From 2009 to 2014, Castro served as the mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas until he was tapped by U.S. President Barack Obama to join the Cabinet in Washington, D.C. Castro has been mentioned as a possible nominee for vice president in 2016 under Hillary Rodham Clinton, for whom he has actively campaigned. Julián Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Maria “Rosie” Castro and Jessie Guzman. He is the identical twin brother of current United States Representative Joaquín Castro. His mother was a Chicanapolitical activist who helped establish the Chicano political party La Raza Unida and who ran unsuccessfully for the San Antonio City Council in 1971. Castro once stated, “My mother is probably the biggest reason my brother and I are in public service. Growing up, she would take us to a lot of rallies and organizational meetings and other things that very boring for an 8-9 year old.” Castro’s Texan roots trace back to 1920, when his grandmother Victoria Castro joined extended family members there as a six year-old orphan from northern Mexico. In 2007, Castro married Erica Lira, an elementary school teacher. In 2009, their daughter Carina Castro was born. On December 27, 2014, Castro announced via Twitter the birth of the couple’s child, a son, Cristián Julián Castro.

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Heriberto

Heriberto "Berto" Guerra, Jr.

Businessman

Heriberto “Berto” Guerra Jr. was appointed chairman of the San Antonio Water System Board of Trustees in 2011. His most recent accomplishments include his work as chairman & chief executive officer of Avanzar Interior Technologies GP, LLC. This company, in partnership with JCI, manufactures interior parts for trucks at the Toyota truck plant in San Antonio. He also is co-owner of Toyota of Boerne. Guerra retired as vice president of legislative and constituency affairs for SBC (now AT&T). His responsibilities included oversight of legislative activity in SBC’s U.S. region, political action committee solicitation and monitoring, and external education for elected officials, regulators and third party constituency groups. He began his career with Southwestern Bell in 1978 as a business office supervisor, progressing through a number of positions in customer service and external affairs including executive vice president of national constituency relations, executive vice president of external affairs, managing director of corporate development for SBC Communications, Inc. and president of Southwestern Bell International Development. Guerra was named Master Entrepreneur as part of Ernst & Young’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Born in Roma and raised in Corpus Christi, Guerra received a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences in interdisciplinary management from Texas State University in 1984. He also completed the Penn State Executive Management Program in 1991. He and his wife, Tammy, have four children and 10 grandchildren.

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Jaime Martinez

Jaime Martinez

Labor and Civil Rights Activist

Born in 1946, labor and civil rights activist Jaime Martinez was raised in San Antonio, Texas. He left San Antonio to work as a musician after attending Lanier High School and returned to San Antonio in 1966 to work for Friedrich Refrigeration, and married in 1968. He joined the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE, now the IUE-AFL-CIO) Local 780 in 1966. He served on the IUE executive board as secretary treasurer for IUE District 11, the first Mexican American at the national level, and served as the National Labor Coordinator for Coordinadora 96. He served as first vice president for the Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO and as president of the National Labor Council of Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). He is founder and president of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council #4626 in San Antonio. He was appointed National Chairperson of the Immigration Committee for LCLAA in 2001 and Labor Advisor to the national LULAC, and in 2004 he was elected treasurer of LULAC at the national level.

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Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez

Civil Rights, Latino and Farm Labor Leader

Senator Robert F. Kennedy described Cesar Chavez as "one of the heroic figures of our time." A true American hero, Cesar was a civil rights, Latino and farm labor leader; a genuinely religious and spiritual figure; a community organizer and social entrepreneur; a champion of militant nonviolent social change; and a crusader for the environment and consumer rights. A first-generation American, he was born on March 31, 1927, near his family's small homestead in the North Gila River Valley outside Yuma, Arizona. At age 11, his family lost their farm during the Great Depression and became migrant farm workers. Throughout his youth and into adulthood, Cesar traveled the migrant streams throughout California laboring in the fields, orchards and vineyards, where he was exposed to the hardships and injustices of farm worker life. After attending numerous schools as the family migrated, Cesar finished his formal education after the eighth grade and worked the fields full-time to help support his family. Although his formal education ended then, he later satisfied an insatiable intellectual curiosity and was self-taught on an eclectic range of subjects through reading during the rest of his life. Cesar joined the U.S. Navy in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, and served in the Western Pacific. He returned from the service in 1948 to marry Helen Fabela, whom he met while working in fields and vineyards around Delano. Together they settled in the East San Jose barrio of Sal Si Puedes (Get Out if You Can), and had eight children, later enjoying 31 grandchildren.

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William C. Velásquez

William C. Velásquez

Founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Projec

William C. Velásquez was the founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in 1974. He envisioned a time when Latinos would play an important role in the American Democratic process. His legacy began in Texas. Velásquez was one of the founding members of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO); a Chicano youth organization aimed at social action. His role in MAYO led to becoming Texas' first statewide Coordinator of El Movimiento Social de la Raza Unida, the precursor of La Ram Unida Party. His involvement with Latino organizations was extensive. In 1968 as Boycott Coordinator for the United Farm Workers (UFW), he organized strikes at the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. After leaving the UFW he became the founder and director of the Mexican American Unity Council in San Antonio, Texas. In 1970 he was named Field Director of the Southwest Council of La Raza.

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Jesse Treviño

Jesse Treviño

Artist

Son of San Antonio, Vietnam Veteran, American Hero, Artist - Jesse Treviño has spent his life honoring the City he loves though the creation of breathtaking images which have become inextricably intertwined with the image of San Antonio, Texas. The level of precision and beauty captured by Treviño on his canvases has led him to be called one of America's finest realist painters and muralists. Treviño won his first art contest at the age of six (6). He attended Fox Technical High School where he honed his artistic skills leading to an art scholarship. The reality of Treviño's amazing talent is made all the more stunning by the series of events that conspired to deprive the world of it. While attending the Art Students League on scholarship in New York, with plans to continue his studies in Paris, Treviño received his draft notice for Vietnam. On February 23, 1967, Treviño was hit by the blast of a booby trap and a sniper's bullet, the 19-year-old lay bleeding in a rice paddy, his body peppered with shrapnel. Injected with morphine on the battlefield, Treviño recalls his thoughts: "I was thinking about my mother, my brothers, the barrio where I grew up in San Antonio and all those images — 'I want to paint them,' that's what I was thinking: 'If there's any way I can come out of this alive, I'm going to paint those places and those people.' “Ultimately, Treviño lost his right arm and painting hand to his injuries. Overcoming physical pain and depression he trained himself to paint with his left hand. He enrolled in a drawing course at San Antonio College and later earned his Bachelor's Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In 1984, Treviño was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Awards Medal by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington D.C. where he presented a painting of the Alamo to President Ronald Reagan. In 1994, Treviño's work was featured in a one man show at the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. where two of Treviño's paintings are included in our Nation's permanent collection. And more recently in 2009, a second major one-man show, a career retrospective at the Smithsonian affiliated Museo Alameda, featured a chronological look at Treviño's work from child prodigy to mature master. In recent years, Treviño has focused on large scale public art projects such as the nine-story one-hundred foot tall mosaic mural on the facade of Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital titled “Spirit of Healing”. This project and others such as “La Veladora” on the Guadalupe Theater, a 40-foot three-dimensional mosaic dedicated to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and his latest work in progress, a 130 foot tall Veterans Monument Tower at Elmendorf Lake in San Antonio’s Westside, are and will be destinations and landmarks in San Antonio for generations to come. Treviño’s legacy is a testament to his battlefield promise to dedicate his talent to paint the things that really matter to him. In his own words, "My whole career as an artist is in terms of what kind of things I can do here in San Antonio to make it a much more beautiful place".

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Leticia Van de Putte

Leticia Van de Putte

Politician

Leticia R. San Miguel Van de Putte (born December 6, 1954) is an American politician from San Antonio, Texas. She represented the 26th District in the Texas Senate from 1999 – 2015. From 1991 to 1999, Van de Putte was a member of the Texas House of Representatives. In 2014, she was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, but lost to her Republican senatorial colleague, Dan Patrick of Houston. Van de Putte was born in Tacoma, Washington, the oldest of five children of Daniel and Isabel San Miguel, a sixth-generation Tejano family. Her father was stationed at Fort Lewis when she was born. The family returned to San Antonio, where she was subsequently reared. Van de Putte has six children and six grandchildren with her husband Pete.

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Lionel Sosa

Lionel Sosa

Artist and Marketing Consultant

Lionel Sosa is an independent marketing consultant and nationally recognized portrait artist. He is the founder of Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, which became the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the U.S. Sosa is an acknowledged expert in Hispanic consumer and voter behavior and was named “One of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America” by Time Magazine. Lionel has authored three books and co-author to two others. He is author of “Children of the Revolución – How the Mexican Revolution Changed America”, distributed by Texas University Press, “Think and Grow Rich, a Latino Choice” published by Random House, “The Americano Dream: How Latinos Can Achieve Success in Business and in Life”, published by Dutton. He is co-author of “El Vaquero Real – the Original American Cowboy” published by Bright Sky Press and was a contributing author of “Latinos and the Nation’s Future”, edited by Henry Cisneros and published by Arte Publico Press, University of Houston. Lionel was media consultant for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. He has served on the teams of eight national Republican presidential campaigns. Sosa currently serves on the boards of The Cisneros Center, The Kipp Academy in San Antonio, City-Year in San Antonio, The Briscoe Museum, Texans for Education Reform and is a member of The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Strategic Planning Committee. In 2001, Sosa was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of the Incarnate Word. His portraits in oil have been exhibited at The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., The George H.W. Bush Library at College Station, Texas and Texas A&M University San Antonio among others.

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José Olmos

Mi Tierra Manager

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Esperanza

Esperanza "Hope " Andrade

Politician

Esperanza “Hope” Andrade (born July 1, 1949) is a former member of the Texas Workforce Commission and former Texas Secretary of State. Andrade most recently served on the state workforce commission, which is the nonpartisan state agency that provides workforce development services to employers and job seekers in Texas. Andrade was appointed to the three-member statewide commission by Governor Rick Perry (R) in March 2013 to fill the vacancy left by Commissioner Tom Pauken’s resignation. Her term ended on February 1, 2015, but she continued to serve on the commission at the governor’s pleasure until July 3. Andrade, a Republican, served as the Texas Secretary of State, also as an appointee of Perry. She took office on July 23, 2008, and resigned November 23, 2012. Andrade was the eight individual and the second woman to hold the office during Perry’s tenure as governor, which ran from December 2000 to January 2015. She was also the first Hispanic woman to hold the office in Texas history. As Secretary of State, Andrade served as chief elections officer, chief international protocol officer and Mexican border commerce coordinator for the state of Texas. Before entering politics, Andrade was an entrepreneur and business leader in San Antonio. Secretary Andrade resides in San Antonio with her husband of 43 years, and has a son, a daughter-in-law, and three grandsons. Her accomplishments balancing family and her professional duties have earned her the title of Woman of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the Woman’s Transportation Seminar, and Mother of the Year by Avance.

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Congressman Frank M. Tejada

Congressman Frank M. Tejada

Politician

Frank Mariano Tejeda (October 2, 1945 – January 30, 1997) was a decorated United States Marine and an American Democratic politician from Texas. He served in the Texas House of Representatives (1976-1987), the Texas Senate (1987-1993), and in the United States House of Representatives (1993-1997). Frank M. Tejeda was born in San Antonio, Texas. He attended St. Leo’s Catholic School and graduated from Harlandale High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was wounded in action during the Vietnam War (1963-1967). He was decorated for valor with the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. Tejeda reached the rank of Major in the Marine Corps Reserve. After his Marine Corps service, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1970 from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and his J.D. in 1974 from the University of California, Berkeley Law School. Tejeda began his political career in the Texas Legislature. He served in the Texas House from 1976 to 1987, and then in the Texas Senate from 1987-1993. While serving in the legislature, he earned two masters’ degrees – in 1980, he received an M.A. from Harvard University, and in 1989, an LL.M. from Yale Law School. Tejeda was elected with 87% of the votes to the U.S Congress in 1992, representing the 28th Congressional District of Texas. Notably, serving on the Armed Services Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, his work in the Congress focused on veterans’ issues. On January 30, 1997, shortly after the beginning of his third term, Congressman Tejeda died after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He was buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.

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Elvira Cisneros

Elvira Cisneros

Activist

Elvira was born on July 11, 1924 in Puebla, Mexico, the fourth of seven children. Her father, Romulo Munguia, was a printer and political activist who fled the violence and made his way to San Antonio in 1926. He found work at the Spanish-language La Prensa and was followed here by his family. The Munguia family settled in the Prospect Hill neighborhood in the nascent West Side barrio. Over the course of three generations the extended family always has lived within a few blocks of that first home. Elvira met George Cisneros, an infantry man who survived three years of combat in the Pacific Theater and rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. Together they would have five children. The high profile achieved by Henry and the other Cisneros siblings obscured the role Elvira played in the city in an era when women, especially Mexican-American women, had to make their own opportunities to advance. World War II interrupted her studies at the University of Texas at Austin. With her brothers serving in the Army and Army Air Corps, Elvira came home to work in her father’s printing business and attend business school to become a bookkeeper, which led to a job at Frost Bank. She volunteered at church, in the PTA, with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and in various neighborhood and community education programs, all while raising her family.

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Master Sgt. Raul Perez Roy Benavidez

Master Sgt. Raul Perez Roy Benavidez

United States Army Special Forces

Master Sergeant Raul Perez “Roy” Benavidez (August 5, 1935 – November 29, 1998) was a member of the United States Army Special Forces (Studies and Observations Group) and retired United States Armymaster Sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for his valorous actions in combat near Loc Ninh, South Vietnam on May 2, 1968. Roy P. Benavidez was born in Lindenau near Cuero, Texas in DeWitt County. He was the son of a Mexican father, Salvador Benavidez and a Yaqui Indian mother, Teresa Perez. When he was two years old, his father died of tuberculosis and his mother remarried. Five years later, his mother died from tuberculosis as well. Benavidez and his younger brother Roger moved to El Campo, where their grandfather, uncle and aunt raised them along with eight cousins. Benavidez shined shoes at the local bus station, labored on farms in California and Washington, and worked at a tire shop in El Campo. He attended school sporadically, and at age 15 dropped out to work full-time to help support the family. On February 24, 1981, President Ronald Reagan presented Roy P. Benavidez with the Medal of Honor. Reagan turned to the press and said, “If the story of his heroism were a movie script, you would not believe it.” He then read the official award citation.

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Eusebio Trujillo

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Dr. Ellen Riojas-Clark

Dr. Ellen Riojas-Clark

Physician

Dr. Clark served as the Educational Content Director for a nationally acclaimed Scholastic Entertainment PBS children's cartoon series. This sixty-five episode program Maya and Miguel is focused on promoting the value of a culturally diverse society and bilingualism. Other creative activities include the writing of book reviews and travel articles for the general public in the local newspaper. These reviews with the byline of Las Dos Abuelas and Abuela Ellne/Maria travels to… have generated great interest, provoke intellectual challenge and discussion, and most importantly, interest in reading. Teachers use the articles to promote cultural literacy and to stimulate reading with their students. Dr. Clark has developed and presented many graduate summer institutes that focused on Latino literature and culture, multicultural education collaborative approaches, curriculum development, cooperative learning and restructuring schools for language minority students at UTSA over the years. These have included the 1999, 2001, 2003 National Endowment for the Humanities summer institutes Derrumbando Fronteras/ Breaking Boundaries: the Inclusion of Mexican American and Latino Literature and Culture in the Classroom for which she received major NEH funding. Other signature events that she has co-chaired were: the University Conference on Multiculturalism in the United States: Multiculturalism and Democracy: Strategic Alternatives that brought speakers such as Carlos Cortes, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Cornel West, and Jorge Klor de Alva and Luz: Education through Art - Orlando AB. This event included an art exhibit, workshops, and student programs structured in collaboration with the Columbian artist, Orlando Botero, traveled nationally and internationally.

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Fernando Reyes

Fernando Reyes

Businessman, Entrepreneur, and Community Leader

Fernando Reyes is a businessman, entrepreneur, community leader and family oriented individual. Having graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington, receiving a Bachelors of Business Administration degree, he continued on to the University of Southern California where he received his master’s degree in public administration. Reyes is President of Reyes Automotive Group II and Reyes AmTex Automotive, which are both Tier One suppliers for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc., in San Antonio, Texas. Along with his two joint venture partners, International Automotive Components and AmTex Corporation, Reyes leads the manufacturing of plastic parts and carpeting for the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma Trucks. His other businesses ventures include Reyes Development and, Reyes Properties that are involved in land development and commercial real-estate acquisition. With his most recent endeavor being Site B Data Services LLC. a collocation center offering a wide variety of technological support for small to medium sized businesses. Reyes was also President and owner of Reyes Industries Inc. a manufacturing business that produced textile and light metal products. He is a dedicated and energetic individual and is active in many civic organizations serving as the 2007 & 2008, Chairman of the Board for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Senior Vice President of the San Antonio Fiesta Commission; Rey Feo LX and Treasurer for the Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation; Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s University; San Antonio Parks Foundation Board; Board Member of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation; Board Member on the World Affairs Council of San Antonio; and Board Member of the San Antonio Texas Bio and Agro Defense Consortium Community Relations Advisory Council; and Director for the Bank of San Antonio. Most recently he was elected as Fiesta Commission President, serving 2014 to 2015. He was appointed by then Governor George W. Bush to serve on the Texas Workers Compensation Insurance Fund Board; the Texas Skills Standard Board; Reyes served as a Commissioner on the Texas Lottery Commission having been appointed by Governor Rick Perry.

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Max Navarro

Max Navarro

Founder of Operational Technologies Corporation

Max Navarro and Dr. Lynda Y. de la Vina founded Operational Technologies Corporation in 1986 in San Antonio, Texas, which has been recognized as one of the fastest growing small business companies in the United States. OpTech offers a wide range of services, including formulating and implementing strategies for the supply chain management of products and processes. In 2004, the company formed a partnership with Vuteq, Inc. to support Toyota of North America as a first-tier supplier. Together, they employ more than 500 employees and provide Toyota with advanced assembly manufacturing. Max, Chairman of OpTech’s Board of Directors, has been a major developer of business in San Antonio, as well as in other states and internationally. Under his leadership, OpTech has engaged in wide-ranging technical areas, including environmental science, engineering and installation of sensitive communications at U.S. facilities around the world, as well as providing other scientific and technical support to the U.S. military. Along with the ever-expanding scope of services offered by OpTech, he has created additional companies in an effort to allow optimal focus in each business. Mr. Navarro is now chairman or member of several boards, and he has served on National boards and Committees, including White House appointments to the Industry Policy Advisory Committee for Trade Policy Matters and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commission.

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Beatrice "Bibi" Peña

Mi Tierra's First Cashier

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Henry Reed

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Ralph Hernandez

Ralph Hernandez

Founder of The Little Red Barn Stakehouse

The Little Red Barn Steakhouse, a family owned business created by Ralph and Lili Hernandez, opened its doors on Labor Day in 1963. Ralph took an old meat market and converted it into a unique steakhouse experience. He painted the building bright red, built picnic tables for seating, and had the menu painted on the walls. When the doors opened, Ralph doubled as the butcher and cook and Lili worked as a waitress and cashier. Their daughters grew up working the restaurant on weekends. They started with 8 tables that seated 32 diners.

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Dr. Gloria Rodriguez

Dr. Gloria Rodriguez

Activist

A national leader on issues of health and education for parents and children, Dr. Gloria G. Rodriguez founded AVANCE, Inc. Family Support and Education Program in San Antonio in 1973. AVANCE promotes mental health and works to prevent poverty, child abuse and neglect, crime and delinquency and school dropouts in addition to other social and economic problems. Rodriguez has consulted for the Harvard Family Research Project, Georgetown University, Yale Bush Center, and the federal government. She earned her Ph.D. in early childhood education from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Ruben Mungia, Sr.

Ruben Mungia, Sr.

Career Printer

Ruben Mungia, a career printer, laughs as he recalls "how smart the U.S. Army was" to let him join the service in the middle of World War II, only to assign him to Randolph Field in San Antonio, his hometown, where he ran the print shop at headquarters command. The second oldest of seven siblings, Mungia would never leave home during his active duty stint. Now a successful and heavily connected insider in San Antonio's local political scene, Mungia, a high school dropout, runs a family-owned print shop that has been operating in the same predominantly-Latino West Side neighborhood for nearly seven decades. It was post-war boomtown San Antonio, and he and his wife Martha, who married in 1945 after he left the service, were looking to buy land to build a house. "We found the place we liked, filled out all the forms and we were told the deal had been accepted. The next day, the sales promoter asks about my name, he said he was not familiar with the name, and asked what it was. “I said, proudly, 'I'm Mexican,'" Munguia recalled. "All of a sudden, the guy said there was a slight problem with the paperwork and could he call me back? "I said, 'No, you so-and-so. I know what you are doing, not selling to me 'cause I am Mexican. To hell with you.' And I called off the deal." It was that incident that would make Mungia decide to join such groups as LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and the American G.I. Forum, which were founded to promote Latino interests and openly denounce racial discrimination. It was what Mungia calls the more subtle instances of discrimination that led him in 1950 to be among a small group of businessmen -- he was the only Hispanic -- to promote Henry B. Gonzalez's first attempt to become a state representative in Austin.

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Jose Luis Villagomez

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The Villalobos

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Frank Herrera

Frank Herrera

Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board

Admitted to the bar in 1967, Mr. Herrera served as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. Two years later, he joined a labor law attorney with the Law Office of Arthur Gotchman. In 1969, Mr. Herrera opened his own law firm with the help of his parents, who refinanced their home to purchase Frank’s office furniture and equipment. Eventually, he formed Hardberger & Herrera, an endeavor with Phillip Hardberger, former Chief Justice of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals and former Mayor of San Antonio. In 1983, Frank Herrera became the sole owner of The Herrera Law Firm, Inc. (known then as The Law Offices of Frank Herrera, Jr.), a culmination of Frank’s lifelong commitment to hard work and justice. Frank Herrera also dedicates countless hours of his time, financial resources, and legal expertise to causes he believes strongly in, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), The New American Alliance, and the St. Mary’s Alumni Association and Central Catholic High School. Frank Herrera actively chairs numerous charitable events and sits as a member for many charitable organizations that benefit his local community. In 2013, Frank Herrera was elected to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for the New American Alliance, Inc., an organization dedicated to advancing the American Latino Community.

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Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan

Best-Selling Author

Cesar Millan is a best-selling author, public speaker, and the internationally acclaimed star of “Cesar 911,” as well as the original, Emmy-nominated host of the “Dog Whisperer” program. With “Cesar 911,” he brings more than 25 years of dog experience and his status as the most recognized and sought-after authority in the field of dog care and rehabilitation directly to communities terrorized by unruly hounds. In December of 1990, 21-year-old Cesar Millan crossed the border from Mexico into California. He lived on the streets of San Diego, landed a job grooming dogs, and soon gained a reputation for his calming effect on even the most difficult cases. With a few dollars in his pocket, he moved north to Los Angeles and took a job washing cars. With the money he saved, he started a freelance dog rehabilitation service, primarily offering his expertise with extreme cases. This led him to open his first Dog Psychology Center, which eventually became the current 43-acre site in the Santa Clarita Valley, now including a sheep herding area, air conditioned kennels, swimming pool, obstacle course, and hiking trails. The Dog Psychology Center is a featured location in “Cesar 911.” In addition to co-authoring six books, Cesar has created numerous instructional DVDs and continues to host a popular series of seminars where attendees learn how to apply his extensive knowledge of dog psychology and rehabilitation techniques. In “Cesar 911,” he continues to apply that knowledge in order to bring balance to relationships, households, and neighborhoods being torn apart by out-of-control dogs. More importantly, he helps the humans who thought their dogs were beyond saving but who learn otherwise as Cesar comes to the rescue and teaches them how to be the Pack Leader.

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Archbishop Patrick Flores

Archbishop Patrick Flores

First Mexican American to become bishop of the Catholic Church

Patrick Fernandez Flores (July 26, 1929), is a Roman Catholic cleric who from 1979 to 2004 was the Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas. Flores was the first Mexican American to become a bishop of the Catholic Church. Flores was born in 1929 to Patricio and Trinidad Fernandez de Flores, American migrant workers, in Ganado, Texas. He graduated from Catholic Kirwin High School (now O’Connell Consolidated High School) in Galveston, Texas. He studied at St. Mary’s Seminary in La Porte, Texas and at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. He received his divinity degree and was ordained a priest on May 26, 1956 by Bishop Wendellin Nold in Galveston. He then served as a parish priest in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston.

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Father Virgilio Elizondo

Father Virgilio Elizondo

Mexican American Roman Catholic Priest and Community Activist

Virgilio P. Elizondo (August 28, 1935 – March 14, 2016) was a Mexican American Roman Catholic priest and community activist, who was also a leading scholar of Liberation and Hispanic Theology. He was widely regarded as “the father of U.S. Latino religious thought.” He was the co-founder of the Mexican-American Cultural Center, a think tank for scholars and religious leaders to develop pastoral ministry and theology from a Hispanic perspective. He was well known for his book, Galilean Journey: The Mexican-American Promise, which examined the similarities between Jesus’ Galilean background and the mestizo experience. Elizondo was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1935 to Mexican immigrants who ran a grocery store. He grew up in a society where the Mexican-American community was barred from many segments of the city and speaking Spanish was not welcome. Never hearing English spoken, he himself was unable to speak it fluently until he reached the sixth grade. After completing high school, Elizondo enrolled at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where he majored in chemistry, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Though he considered a career in medicine, he felt called to serve in the ministry and enrolled in Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, so that he could stay close to his home.

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Rosalinda Cortez

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Pedro and Cruz Cortez

Founders of Mi Tierra

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Oscar Jung

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Ricardo Montalvo

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Pedro Infante

Pedro Infante

Actor and Singer

Pedro Infante Cruz (November 18, 1917 – April 15, 1957), better known as Pedro Infante, was a Mexican actor and singer. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, he is considered an idol of the Lain American people, together with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solis, who were styled as the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (the Three Mexican Roosters). Infante was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico and was raised in Guamúchil. He died on April 15, 1957, in Mérida, Yucatán, in a plane crash during a flight en route to Mexico City.

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John Quiñones

John Quiñones

Anchor of "What Would You Do?"

John Quiñones is the anchor of "What Would You Do?," one of the highest-rated newsmagazine franchises of recent years. During his 25 year tenure at ABC News, he has reported extensively for all programs and platforms and served as anchor of "Primetime." Quiñones joined ABC News in June 1982 as a general assignment correspondent based in Miami, providing reports for "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" and other ABC News broadcasts. He was one of the few American journalists reporting from Panama City during the U.S. invasion in December 1989. Prior to joining ABC News he was a reporter with WBBM-TV in Chicago. He won two Emmy Awards for his 1980 reporting on the plight of illegal aliens from Mexico. From 1975 to 1978, he was news editor at KTRH radio in Houston, Texas. During that period, he also was an anchor-reporter for KPRC-TV. Quiñones received a bachelor of arts in speech communications from St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas. He received a master's from the Columbia School of Journalism.

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Henry Muñoz III,

Henry Muñoz III,

Entrepeneur, Award-Winning Designer, Cultural Activist, and Well-Respected Philanthropist

Henry R. Muñoz, III is a successful entrepreneur, an award-winning designer, a cultural activist, and a well-respected philanthropist. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Kell Muñoz Architects, Inc., the largest minority-owned architectural firm in Texas. Under his leadership, the firm has grown significantly in both size and reputation. Mr. Muñoz has designed prolific architectural works in the United States/ Mexico Border Region for 15 years; he has shaped the skylines of Texas and is an original and innovative leader in the pursuit of a blended cultural expression through the built environment, reflective of America in the 21st Century. Over the last year, his cultural approach to architectural design has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, Architectural Record and Lehrer News Hour, amongst others. His work as a designer has been recognized with 30 juried design awards.

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Rosemary Kowalski

Rosemary Kowalski

Founder of Rosemary's Catering

Like many success stories, ours starts with an individual spark. When Rosemary Kowalski began catering private parties in 1946, expanding on the small barbecue diner she and her husband Henry owned, the Kowalski family name gained new culinary fame. By 1968 Rosemary’s Catering had grown successful enough to occupy 11 buildings within four city blocks, and was the preferred caterer for most top social and business events around town. That year, HemisFair ’68 shined a spotlight on San Antonio, and Rosemary’s Catering added even more illumination as the official caterer for 105 of the 112 pavilion celebrations at the world’s fair. Today, The RK Group remains a privately owned company with nationwide reach through subsidiaries that provide a full range of catering services and event logistics, plus food service for large scale sports, entertainment, and cultural event venues. Greg Kowalski continues the family tradition of quality, service and innovation as he inspires and leads more than 800 employees on the path his mother, Rosemary, paved.

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Manuel Cortez

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David Cortez

David Cortez

Second Generation Restaurateur and Leader of the Texas Foodservice Industry

David Cortez is a second generation restaurateur and a leader of the Texas foodservice industry. He was born in San Antonio, Texas on April 22, 1945 to Pedro and Cruz Cortez. Having grown up in the restaurant business, Cortez has been part of the growth of the well-known Cortez Family of Restaurants which consists of Mi Tierra Café y Panadería, Mariachi Bar, La Margarita Restaurant & Oyster Bar and Restaurante Pico de Gallo. Raised in the Prospect Hill neighborhood in the West side of San Antonio —Cortez attended Central Catholic High School and received his BBA from St. Mary’s University in 1968. David started at the age of 10 years working at his father’s small café and has worked every aspect of the business —from purchasing, production, marketing and service. He has been an essential part in establishing the foundation to a restaurant dynasty that is focused on preservation and promotion of the Hispanic Culture of San Antonio.

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Jorge Cortez

Jorge Cortez

Born on January 1, 1943, Jorge Cortez was the second of five children born to Pedro and Cruz Cortez. Growing up, Cortez’s parents emphasized culture, education and hard work and favored activities such as studying, working in the family business, trips to the markets and plazas of Mexico and the Alameda Theater. At the age of ten, following in the footsteps of his father, Cortez began his career in the food service industry by selling bananas outside the family restaurant, Mi Tierra. Cortez often describes this era of El Mercado as San Antonio’s version of Ellis Island in which the Belgium, Chinese, French, Mexican and Italian communities were interwoven as one. Over the last fifteen years, Cortez has led an effort to redevelop the west-end of downtown into a “Cultural Zone” celebrating San Antonio’s Hispanic heritage.

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Ruben Cortez

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Francisco I. Madero

Francisco I. Madero

Organized the Anti-Reelectionist Party

Francisco Madero was born on October 30, 1873 in Parras, Mexico, into a wealthy Mexican family. He studied in the United States and Paris. Madero organized the Anti-Reelectionist Party when Mexico's dictator Porfirio Diaz declared he would run for reelection in 1910. Madero won the presidential election in 1911, but was unprepared for the demands of office. He was assassinated in 1913.

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Raúl Cortez

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Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata

Mexican Revolutionary and Advocate of Agrarianism

Born on August 8, 1879, Anenecuilco, Mexico, Emiliano Zapata was a Mexican revolutionary and advocate of agrarianism who fought in guerrilla actions during the Mexican Revolution. He formed and commanded the Liberation Army of the South, an important revolutionary brigade, and his followers were known as Zapatistas. Zapata died on April 10, 1919.

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Venustiano Carranza

Venustiano Carranza

Mexican Civil War Leader

Venustiano Carranza was a leader in the Mexican civil war following the overthrow of the dictator Porfirio Díaz and became the first president of the new Mexican Republic in 1917. A moderate who was tainted by his association with Díaz, Carranza opposed the sweeping changes that followed the revolution. When the opposition rebelled in 1920, Carranza fled the capital and was betrayed and murdered.

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Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier

Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier

Leader in Education

A leader in education, Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier forged a 20-year career in education in local schools, served as a presidential appointee in various capacities in the Department of Education and returned home to San Antonio to become the first president of Texas A&M University. Since 2009, Dr. Ferrier oversees the University’s recent growth and development as a self-standing institution. Dr. Ferrier directs academic, administrative, and student services; vision and guidance in strategic planning, collaboration with external constituencies (including the local community, business, and state leaders); and compliance with organizational policies and procedures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and a Master’s of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. From 1982 to 2002, her passion for education prompted her to contribute to improving local schools. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Ferrier to her first federal job as Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition for Limited English Proficient Students in the United States Department of Education. She later she served as Deputy Undersecretary, and then as Assistant Deputy Secretary. Other national presidential appointments include the Commission on National and Community Service by President George H. Bush and, in 1992, Secretary of Education, Lamar Alexander, appointed her to serve in the position of Director of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. Upon her return from our Nation’s Capital, Dr. Ferrier served as Executive Director for External Funding of the Southwest Independent School District (SWISD) and the Executive Director for the SWISD Education Foundation. From 1995 to 2002, she served as founding Executive Director of City Year, a national service organization that became the model for the now federally funded program known as AmeriCorps. In 2008, she was appointed Executive Director of the then- Texas A&M University – Kingsville System Center at San Antonio and became president when the university received its stand-alone designation in May 2009.

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Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera

Artist

Born on December 8, 1886, in Guanajuato, Mexico, Diego Rivera sought to make art that reflected the lives of the Mexican people. In 1921, through a government program, he started a series of murals in public buildings. Some were controversial; his Man at the Crossroads in New York City's RCA building, which featured a portrait of Vladmir Lenin, was stopped and destroyed by the Rockefeller family.

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Pancho Villa

Pancho Villa

Revolutionary

Born on June 5, 1878, in San Juan del Rio, Durango, Mexico, Pancho Villa started off as a bandit who was later inspired by reformer Francisco Madero, helping him to win the Mexican Revolution. After a coup by Victoriano Huerta, Villa formed his own army to oppose the dictator, with more battles to follow as Mexican leadership remained in a state of flux. He was assassinated on July 20, 1923, in Parral, Mexico.

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Leonardo

Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez

Jiménez began performing at the age of seven, with his father, Santiago Jiménez Sr, who was a pioneer of conjunto music and began recording at age fifteen as a member of Los Caporales. He played in the San Antonio area for several years and then began working with Doug Sahm in the 1960s. Sahm, better known as the founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet, played with Jiménez for some time. Flaco then went on to New York City and worked with Dr. John, David Lindley, Peter Rowan, Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan. He appeared on Cooder's world music album Chicken Skin Music and on the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge. This led to greater awareness of his music outside America and, after touring Europe with Ry Cooder, he returned to tour in America with his own band, and on a joint bill with Peter Rowan. Jiménez, Peter Rowan and Wally Drogos were the original members of a band called the Free Mexican Airforce. Jiménez won a Grammy award in 1986 for Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, one of his father's songs. He was also a member of the Tejano fusion group Texas Tornados, with Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender. The Texas Tornados won a Grammy award in 1990, and Jiménez earned one on his own in 1996, when his album Flaco Jiménez won the Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance. In 1999, Je earned another Grammy award for Best Tejano Performance for Said and Done (released by Barbed Wire Records) and one for Best Mexican-American Performance as a part of the supergroup Los Super Seven. In 2012 Jiménez received a National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment of the Arts. In February 2015, Jiménez won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.He also won a Best Video award at the Tejano Music Awards and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard Latin Magazine for "Streets of Bakersfield" with Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens. Jiménez appeared in the movie Picking Up the Pieces, with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone, and was also featured on the soundtrack. His music has been featured in the soundtrack for other movies, such as Y Tu Mamá También, The Border, Tin Cup, and Striptease. The Hohner company collaborated with Jiménez to create the Flaco Jimenez Signature Series of accordions.

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Chef Raúl Salazar

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Ricardo G. Cedillo

Ricardo G. Cedillo

Co-Founder of Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, INC.

Ricardo founded the firm in 1986 with Russell and Norman Davis. He is a member of the firm's litigation section. His practice focuses primarily on commercial law and products liability defense

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Pete Cortez

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Michael Cortez

Michael Cortez

Third Generation Restaurateur

Michael Cortez is a Third Generation Restaurateur and has proudly worked in the family business since he was 14 years old. Michael’s strong work ethic and leadership skills have propelled him into becoming a key member of MTC’s Executive Management Team. Beyond his service to the Cortez Family Restaurants, Michael is an active member of the community. He currently serves in the Executive Committee of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a member of the Downtown Alliances’ Executive Committee. He is also member of the San Antonio Restaurant Association, the Texas Restaurant Association, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the San Pedro Creek Restoration Subcommittee. Above all, Michael is the proud father of two wonderful children, Elijah and Ashley.

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Christina Cortez

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Cruz Cortez

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Deborah Cortez

Deborah Cortez

Artist

Deborah A. Cortez is an artist, self-taught interior designer and a student of Cultural Preservation under the tutelage of her father, Jorge Cortez. She grew up alongside her grandparents, Pedro and Cruz Cortez, participating in restaurant and political activities. However, it was her father who instilled in her the appreciation for Cultural Preservation and her creative expression which ultimately resulted in her defined role within the family business corporation. She continues to work with her father towards the further development of the branding and marketing of MTC, Incorporated, which includes Mi Tierra Café & Bakery, Mariachi Bar de Mi Tierra, Restaurante Pico De Gallo, La Margarita Restaurant & Oyster Bar and Viva Villa, A Chef inspired Taqueria. She also plays an integral supporting role with the company’s business management leadership team.

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Raúl A. Almaguer

Rosita Fernandez's Husband

Rosita Fernandez, a longtime San Antonian and pioneer of Tejano music, gained international fame as a recording artist and movie star. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1919, Rosita was one of sixteen children and daughter of a military officer. She was educated in Laredo, Texas, and moved to San Antonio with her family when she was nine. Rosita married Raul Almaguer of San Antonio in 1938, and with him raised son Raul Javier Almaguer and daughter Diana Rosa Orellana. Devoted to her family, Rosita chose to remain in San Antonio despite her blossoming career in movies. As Rosita Fernandez's popularity grew, she became known by fans simply as "Rosita."

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Juan Ortiz, Campanas de America

Juan Ortiz, Campanas de America

Musical Director and Manager to Campanas de America

Campanas de America is an innovative twelve-piece musical ensemble mariachi band founded in 1978 in San Antonio, Texas. The band (Bells of America in English) was named after Belle Ortiz, the wife of the band's musical director and manager, Juan Ortiz. They have performed nationwide, and continue with an active recording career. Expanding in style from traditional mariachi sounds, the band also uses more diverse instruments including the accordion, keyboards, and a full drum kit. They are the only mariachi band to display an instrument at the Hard Rock Cafe. In 1996 the band appeared at The Presidential Hispanic Inaugural Gala in honor of the re-election of Bill Clinton, in Washington, D.C. In 1999, the band reached a wide audience when they appeared on the PBS music television program Austin City Limits, on an episode spotlighting various Mexican roots music performers, in which the band performed as backup for a duet by singer Rick Trevino and his father. On September 13, 1999 the band performed on the Millennium Stage of the Grand Foyer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and returned the next year as well, on September 6, 2000. They performed at the Hispanic Heritage Awards in 1999, 2000 and 2004. Their 2004 appearance was televised nationwide on NBC and Telemundo. In 2003 they were featured in a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Bush. On July 20, 2005, the band won the "Best Mariachi" award at the 1st "Premios Musica Latina de Austin" awards in Austin, Texas, during which they also performed.

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Selena Quintanilla Perez

Selena Quintanilla Perez

Recording Artist

Born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas, Selena Quintanilla made her recording debut in the '80s, going on to become an award-winning recording artist in the Latin music scene with albums like Amor Prohibido and Selena Live. In 1995, she was murdered by the founder of her fan club. Her last album, Dreaming of You, was released posthumously in 1995.

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Francisco Villalobos, Jr.

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Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos

Actor

Edward James Olmos was born in Los Angeles on February 24, 1947, and got his first big acting break in the stage production of Zoot Suit. His career steadily grew, as he appeared in films like Blade Runner, and joined the cast of TV's Miami Vice. He received an Oscar nomination for his role as a teacher in 1988's Stand and Deliver. From 2003 to 2009, Olmos starred in the TV series Battlestar Galactica. Outside of his work in film and on television, Olmos spends much of his time as an activist. He has supported numerous causes and has been an advocate for Latino culture, organizing film festivals and other special projects and events.

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Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros

American Writer and poet

American writer and poet. Born on December 20, 1954, in Chicago, Illinois. One of seven children and the only daughter, she has written extensively about the Latina experience in the United States. Cisneros is best known for The House on Mango Street (1984), which tells the story of a young Latina woman coming of age in Chicago. The novel has sold more than two million copies. Cisneros has explored many literary forms in her work. She wrote several collections of poetry, including My Wicked, Wicked Ways (1987), which was well received by critics. She created an impressionistic portrait of life on the border between the United States and Mexico through a series of vignettes in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991). Cisneros has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1995 and the Texas Medal of the Arts Award in 2003. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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Cortez Grandparents

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José María Morelos

José María Morelos

Revolutionary

José María Morelos was born September 30, 1765 in Valladolid, Mexico. In 1811 he joined Miguel Hidalgo's insurrection and, after Hidalgo's death, took command of the movement in southern Mexico. Between 1812 and 1815 he controlled most of Mexico southwest of Mexico City. He called the Congress of Chilpancingo in 1813 to form a government. In November the congress declared Mexico's independence.

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Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla

Mexican Catholic Priest

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a Mexican Catholic priest. On September 16, 1810, Father Hidalgo rang the church bell to announce revolution against the Spanish. Indians and mestizos marched with Hidalgo and captured major cities but were halted at the gates of the capital. Hidalgo fled north but was caught and shot in 1811. The anniversary of his call is celebrated as Mexico's Independence Day.

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The Larlos

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Freddy and Ninfa Garcia

Freddy and Ninfa Garcia

Victory Outreach Ministry

Freddie and Ninfa Garcia launched Victory Outreach Ministry in 1970. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush awarded Freddie with a national Achievement Against the Odds award at the White House. Freddie’s best-selling book, “Outcry in the Barrio” detailed his life story and influenced many young drug addicts to seek help.

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Benito Juarez

Benito Juarez

President of Meixo (1861-1872)

Born on March 21, 1806, in San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca, Mexico, Benito Juárez was president of Mexico (1861-'72) and for three years (1864-'67) fought against foreign occupation under Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was finally captured by Mexican forces and executed him. Impeccably honest, Juárez also sought constitutional reforms to create a democratic federal republic.

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Kenneth Lee

Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar

Former Secretary of the Interior

Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar (born March 2, 1955) served as the 50th United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez (R-Florida) were the first Hispanic U.S. Senators since 1977; they were joined by Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) in January 2006. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, he served as Attorney General of Colorado from 1999 to 2005. On December 17, 2008, President-elect Obama announced he would nominate Salazar as U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The environmentalist movement's reaction to this nomination was mixed. Previously, Salazar supported the nomination of Gale Norton to Secretary of the Interior, President George W. Bush's first appointee who preceded Salazar as Colorado Attorney General. On January 20, 2009, Salazar was confirmed by unanimous consent in the Senate.

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Master Sergeant Cleto Rodriguez

Master Sergeant Cleto Rodriguez

Cleto L. Rodríguez (April 26, 1923 – December 7, 1990) was an American who served in both the U.S. Army, and in the U.S. Air Force, and received the Medal of Honor for actions in Manila, Philippines during World War II. He was born and lived in San Marcos, Texas until his parents died when he was nine years old. After the death of his parents he was sent to live with relatives in San Antonio, Texas. As a boy he worked for the Gunter Hotel as a newsboy. He enlisted in the United States Army in early 1944 where he served as a Private in Company B, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.

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Francisco I. Madero

Francisco I. Madero

Francisco Madero was born on October 30, 1873 in Parras, Mexico, into a wealthy Mexican family. He studied in the United States and Paris. Madero organized the Anti-Reelectionist Party when Mexico's dictator Porfirio Diaz declared he would run for reelection in 1910. Madero won the presidential election in 1911, but was unprepared for the demands of office. He was assassinated in 1913.

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Francisco Villalobos, Sr.

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Raúl Jimenez

Raúl Jimenez

Restaurant Owner and Businessman

During the holiday season, many senior citizens are alone and cannot afford to prepare a holiday meal for themselves. In 1979, San Antonio restaurant owner and businessman, Raul Jimenez, recognized this need in his community and established a Thanksgiving Day event designed to serve these forgotten individuals. Now in its 35th year, the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner continues to provide senior citizens and less fortunate a place to enjoy a hot and nutritious turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day. Held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, the event invites seniors to dine at a “community dinner table”, celebrate the holiday with their peers, and enjoy live music and entertainment.

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Teresa Champion

Teresa Champion

Dancer

Teresa Champion (nee Martinez) was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Her father’s name is Eusebyo Martinez and her Mother’s name is Maria Martinez. Her father was born in Monterey, Mexico. Her mother was born in San Antonio, Texas. Teresa’s father came to San Antonio from Mexico when he was 7 years old. She went to school in San Antonio at Barkley Elementary, Rhodes Middle School, and Lanier High School. When she went high school at Lanier she stayed one year and decided to go to a school of the arts in Mexico. She attended the Ballet Artes de Mexico in Mexico City. Teresa has been dancing since she was a little girl. She has been married for fifty years to William Champion better known as El Curro. He is a world famous flameco guitarist. Teresa has two daughters, Elsa and Chayo. Chayo is a singer and Elsa is a folklorico and flamenco dancer. In 1987 Teresa Champion was inducted into the San Antonio Womens Hall of Fame Teresa said that this was one of her major accomplishments. Today Teresa is still teaching at her dance studio and performs all around San Antonio, Texas. She still receives invitations to perform at special events across the country.

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Willie

Willie "El Curro" Champion

Flamenco Artist

Champion graduated from Fox Tech High School in 1954. As a young musician, he was initially attracted to boleros. But once he discovered flamenco, Champion never waivered. With Greco, he toured extensively for 17 years. He shared stages with the greats, from Tony Bennett to the Count Basie Orchestra. He also appeared in John Wayne’s “The Alamo”.

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Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto

Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto

Academic

Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto recently retired as Associate Director for Creativity & Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. His work with the division included the Humanities Residency Fellowship Program, the Recovering and Reinventing Cultures through Museums Program, the U.S. Mexico Fund for Culture, and PACT (Partnerships Affirming Community Transformation). Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Ybarra-Frausto was a tenured professor at Stanford University in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He has served as Chair of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and of the Smithsonian Council, and he has written and published extensively, focusing, for the most part, on Latin American and U.S./Latino cultural issues. He has edited, co-edited, and contributed to a number of texts that consider Latino expressive culture through art and literature, including Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (Duke University Press, 2006); Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture & Chicana/o Sexualities (co-edited with Alicia Gaspar de Alba) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals (co-edited with Amalia Mesa-Bains and Shifra M. Goldman) (University of New Mexico Press, 1990); Arte Chicano: A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of Chicano Art, 1965–1981 (compiled with Shifra M. Goldman) (University of California, 1986); and Chicano Literature: Text and Context (compiled with Antonia Castaneda Shular and Joseph Sommers) (Prentice Hall, 1972). In 1998, Dr. Ybarra-Frausto was awarded the Joseph Henry Medal by the Smithsonian Institution Center for Latino Initiatives for exemplary contributions to that institution, including the donation of his invaluable collection of documentation on Chicano art and culture (now at the Archives of American Art).

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Tino Duran

Tino Duran

President of Duran Duran Industries and Publisher of La Prensa de San Antonio

First generation born in the United States and San Antonio’s very own, Tino Duran was a tough Alazan-Apache Courts kid who was kicked out of six elementary schools because he had a “discipline problem.” The problem was he only spoke Spanish. However, determined to succeed, Tino mastered the English language, became Student Body President, ROTC Colonel, and newspaper editor while in high school. Years later Tino was inducted to the Sydney Lanier High School Hall of Fame for outstanding professional achievement and serving as role model for students. After high school, Tino served four years in the United States Air Force. When his duty was over he attended St. Mary’s University and received a B.A. in Political Science and later an M.S. in Public Administration. Upon his graduation from St Mary’s in 1963, he worked for the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department. A year later, Senator Yarborough contacted Tino informing him about his appointment as Executive Assistant to the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration. Since then, Tino Duran has held multiple high-ranking positions such as Executive Assistant the Mayor John Gatti, Executive Director for the Housing Authority of Bexar County, President of the National Association of Hispanic Publications and Executive Vice-President of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Today, Tino Duran is president of Duran Duran Industries, and publisher of La Prensa de San Antonio. He has been awarded numerous awards for his community involvement and business success. Some of his most recent awards include: the 2006 Community Service Award presented by the San Antonio North Chamber of Commerce, the 2005 Henry B. Gonzalez Public Service and Integrity award presented by the Public Administration Department of San Antonio College, the 2002 Media Award presented by the San Antonio Police Officers Association, and the 2002 Henry Guerra Journalism Award presented by the San Antonio Hispanic Journalists.

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Commissioner Paul Elizondo

Commissioner Paul Elizondo

Musical Pioneer

A musical pioneer, Paul Elizondo has been a musician for over half a century. A San Antonio native, he served in the United States Marine Corps from 1957-59. He then lent his talents to teaching (from 1960-1978) where he spent fourteen years in the Edgewood School District as teacher, band director and artist in residence with the San Antonio Independent School District. Heeding a call to public service, Elizondo served two terms as a Texas State Representative for District 57-I (from 1979-82). Soon after, he was elected County Commissioner of Precinct 2, a post he still holds today. He has won re-election bid after re-election bid since 1982. As a musician, the roots run deep for the Elizondo family. Paul’s grandfather, Paz Elizondo played accordin while other relatives played violin and guitar in their hometown of Dryer, Texas. Paz deftly played polkas, redovas, shottises, corridos and valses for family gatherings. Paul’s Elizondo’s love for jazz, blues and the big band sound came from his father’s appreciation for these styles. His father built his own amplifier and connected it to a record player and microphone to become one of the first deejays for local parties. Growing up, Paul was exposed to many music genres and was also influenced by his Mexican American upbringing that showcased conjunto music. In 1950, Paul enrolled in the Central Catholic High School band where he learned to play the saxophone. During the early 50’s, he joined many student-formed bands. As he prepared to graduate, he joined the Professional Musicians’ Union and accepted a music scholarship to St. Mary’s University.

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Dr. José San Martín

Dr. José San Martín

Optometrist

Dr. José San Martín Jr. served twice in the City Council. San Martin was appointed to fill the council spot left vacant when Henry B. Gonzalez was elected to the Texas Senate in 1956. San Martin won election to the council in 1957 and 1959. After more than a decade, San Martin was again elected to the council, in 1973, serving until he ran for mayor. “He felt that if there was going to be any meaningful change, it had to be done from within,” said his oldest son, Jose San Martin III. San Martin Jr. was born in Torreon, Mexico, and came to San Antonio with his family in 1929. His father was a general in the Mexican army. “There was a revolution, and his dad was on the wrong side of it,” San Martin III said. The family escaped to Laredo, then settled in San Antonio.

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Dr. Hugo Castañeda

Dr. Hugo Castañeda

Physician

Dr. Carlos Orozco and Dr. Hugo Castaneda, two San Antonio physicians who stopped by a park in Mexico City while they were on a medical mission, dedicated themselves to returning Milam to a people's park. As a result of their discussions about the purpose and vision of Milam Park, the Friends of Milam Park was formed under the umbrella of the San Antonio Parks Foundation. That same year, the 10 foot high concrete walls built during the 1976 renovation project were knocked down to make way for the park's latest renovation. The park was renovated to include game tables where senior citizens could play dominos and checkers; a children's playscape and water feature; a walking/jogging trail; exercise stations and new benches and trees. The centerpiece of the new vision of the park was a 26-foot copper-roofed gazebo designed by Jalisco architect Salvador de Alba Martin where groups were able to perform. Dubbed the "Jalisco Pavilion," the gazebo was officially presented to the City of San Antonio in July 1993. The gazebo features cast-iron columns and railings and a cantera stone base. It was made possible through a cooperative effort with Guadalajara, a San Antonio Sister City, and the state of Jalisco.

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Frank Sepulveda

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Gilbert Duran

Gilbert Duran

Artist Non Grata

He has a mysterious sadness that surrounds him yet a compilation of severe intensity and quiet gentleness masked with a sense of surreal dominance is what defines him. His painting is sporadic with endless weeks of contemplating a painting and not being able to lift a paintbrush followed by an incurable sense of urgency to create. All that is heard are the frantic strokes of a brush against a virgin canvas tied to an ancient easel waiting in anticipation for what is to come. The echo of erratic brushes striking iridescent linen taunts his imagination and drowns out the haunting music of a weeping violin that drifts endlessly through a glassless window. He will pace back and forth on his chameleon-colored floors like a famished leopard contemplating his prey. He will paint for days, canvas after canvas, color upon color, destroying sable brushes in turmoil with no regard for food or sleep. Only when his compulsion to paint has been conceived will he finally lay down his brushes and then be consumed by his creations; spinning into devastation of self-doubt. Exhausted and filled with anguish he will contemplate painting over everything he has

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Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez

Artist

Born Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Luis Lopez migrated to the United States in the 70s. Lopez initiated his career as an artist in 1975. He spent several years cultivating his artistic knowledge and worked on various public art projects and exhibitions of his work. Public interest in Lopez talent increased and he began receiving various commissions throughout the United States and Mexico. With the success of establishing a reputation for himself as a Fine Artist, Lopez built a permanent home for his art studio and gallery in San Antonio called La Casa Rosa in the historic Tobin Hill. From this studio, Lopez continues to produce and exhibit his powerful artwork and captures the interest of art enthusiasts to an international level. The studio quickly earned a reputation for conceptualizing and for creating uniquely styled murals and paintings. His rich color combinations represent his powerful cultural background! Lopez created the Tobin Hill Arts Alliance and initiated the second Friday Art on the Hill art walk. Under his supervision, more than ten different locations and galleries in the Tobin Hill area are displaying art and sculptures from local artists. His efforts have resulted in attracting attention to the Tobin Hill historical community. Lopez spends part of his time painting at his newest studio in the mountains of Hidalgo, Mexico where he finds solace and inspiration.

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Armando Sánchez

Armando Sánchez

Painter

For the past 30 years, Armando A. Sánchez has been painting the landscapes and people of San Antonio. A native of San Antonio, Armando excels in capturing the drama and energy of Mexican traditions and its history makers. For example, his rendition of Mexican revolutionary leader, Emiliano Zapata, has become Mi Tierra’s most famous icon. Armando’s classical portraits include his visual rendering of Pope John Paul II, which graces the Chancery of San Antonio’s Archdiocese. Furthermore, his National Award Hispanic Poster Child hangs in the Smithsonian National Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is also well known for his watercolors depicting Mexican American culture. His artistic creations are in the collection of Maya Angelou, José Feliciano, Cheech Marin, Mick Jagger, and The University of Texas System Chancellor Mark Yudof. In addition, The University of Texas at San Antonio President, Dr. Ricardo Romo, has selected a diverse array of Armando’s paintings for UTSA’s art collection.