San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 16th, 2011
Hispanic culture center hosts Saturday celebration


A nonprofit Hispanic culture organization based in San Marcos will celebrate its first anniversary alongside Diez y Seis de Septiembre festivities.

The event, sponsored by Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, will be Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 211 Lee Street. San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero will say a few words to kick-off the program. Texas State history professor Jesús Francisco dela Teja will be the keynote speaker.

“We’re so proud and happy to be celebrating our first anniversary, and it’s been a very busy year,” said Centro board president Ofelia Vasquez-Philo. “The minute we opened, we began receiving requests for classes – ballet folklorico, art, piano, voice, mariachi – and we did our best to provide this programming.”

In addition to classes, workshops, performances and events Centro presented this past year, the organization produced or hosted a Día de los Muertos celebration, a healthy tamale-making workshop, Cuicani in Xochitl Aztec dancers, Native American Contributions lecture, “Living with Alzheimer’s” book signing, Mariachi Infantil Christmas Concert, Mark Standing Eagle Baez lecture, Grupo Pakal Mayan performance company, Carlos Aceves’ Xinachtli Project lecture and workshop, Ancient Symbols Art Workshop, Cinco de Mayo luncheon, Sacred Springs Summer Arts Camp, Centro students’ piano concert, Las Comadres de San Marcos’ first comadrazo, and several community meetings and celebrations.

Centro’s board embarked on an effort to recruit 100 women to help it grow and serve the community. The group of women is called Amigas del Centro, and Centro’s board hopes to reach the Amigas membership goal by the end of this year.

Centro incorporated as a nonprofit in 2006 and opened its doors at the old Bonham Elementary School on September 18, 2010, thus fulfilling the 30-year dream of Vasquez-Philo, who founded the organization with other community members. Other founders include Gloria Salazar, Rosina Valle, Margie Villalpando and Lupe Costilla, who currently serve as board members. Supporting their request to rent the old school, then-Superintendent Patty Schafer agreed to let the Centro board take responsibility for the building. Costilla and Villalpando sit on San Marcos CISD’s board of trustees.

“I’m so happy to say that I lived to see the day that San Marcos had a cultural center that honors our Hispanic citizens,” says Vasquez-Philo. “This first anniversary was a long time coming.”

For more information call Vasquez-Philo at (512) 878-0640 and visit the Centro website.

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