History of Tejas and the Border

Del Rio’s Brown Plaza

Along the San Felipe Creek and surrounded by a culturally unique border community, Brown Plaza/La Plaza Brown was inaugurated during a Cinco de Mayo celebration in 1908, making it the first plaza to be established in Del Rio. Since then, the Del Rio community has celebrated Cinco de Mayo and Diez y Seis de Septiembre and has held other social and political gatherings on the plaza. Indeed, Brown Plaza/La Plaza Brown was constructed for and by the Mexican American community in order to have a space for public gatherings and cultural celebrations. Recognizing the significance and utility of this space, community members founded Casa de la Cultura next to the plaza in 1981. Casa de la Cultura is space that provides educational, artistic, and cultural outlets to the local Mexican American community and visitors. The organization has several murals depicting life on the border inside and outside its building. Casa de la Cultura also sponsors an International Women’s Day Conference, a Dia de los Muertos Celebration, a Christmas Posada y Tamalada, and other cultural celebrations within its spaces and the neighboring Brown Plaza/La Plaza Brown. Additionally, since 2004 Casa de la Cultura has hosted a Summer Concert Series/Noches Musicales every Friday on Brown Plaza/La Plaza Brown during June, July, and August. This series showcases a variety of Mexican and Mexican American musical styles. Moreover, local art shows are on daily display in the Casa de la Cultura.    

This is the newly restored Aztlan Mural, which depicts the struggles Chicanos/Mexican-Americans faced in Lubbock, Texas. The mural was originally commissioned by the Lubbock Brown Berets in the 1970s and was completed in 1977 by New York artist Fernando Penaloza. Due to the harsh West Texas elements, the mural has been restored twice by Colorado artist Emanuel Martinez. The latest restoration was completed June 20, 2013. Photo by Emanuel Martinez.  
El Paso’s Boxing Hall of Fame Mural (309 E. Mills Ave) depicts many local athletes. The piece is one of the largest boxing murals in the world and was completed in 2004 by artist Jesus De Mendoza Pano. 
Children in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio/Second Ward at sunset, May 2011