74° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Centro Cultural Hispano to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with inaugural walk

hispanic+heritage+illustration
hispanic heritage illustration

Walking through San Marcos, the influence the Latino community has on the city is irrefutable. From food and live music to undergrad programs and culture centers, Latinos are an undeniable part of San Marcos culture.
For Lucy Gonzalez, the strength and size of the Latino community are best demonstrated and celebrated through a walk, and events showcasing Hispanic solidarity are the bread and butter of Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos.
Gonzalez, who works for Community Action Inc. of Central Texas and is the organizer of San Marcos’ first Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk, was blown away by the strength and organizing momentum of the Black community during the Juneteenth celebration in San Marcos, and organized the city-wide walk to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month.
“People don’t know much about Latinos or Hispanic identity,” Gonzalez said. “When you say Hispanic heritage, they automatically think Mexican. There are 21 different countries [that] are represented during Hispanic Heritage Month. That was the main thing that we wanted to come across [with the walk]. So people can say, I don’t have to fit in. I belong.”
The Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk hosted by Centro Cultural de Hispano will take place on Sept. 17. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. at Centro at 211 Lee St. and proceed up LBJ Drive to the Hays County Historic Courthouse for live music, ballet Folklórico dancing, food and fundraising events for scholarships.
After Gonzalez returned from living in Mexico City for eight years, she was stunned to realize that the Latino community in San Marcos had the makings of the Latino community she had lived with in Mexico. According to Gonzalez, her experience in San Marcos compared to Mexico City led her to realize that in the U.S., there is less awareness and celebration of the diversity of ethnicities within the Latino community.
The walk will have banners representing different Latin American countries, held by volunteers and community members. For the event, Centro has recruited the help of the San Marcos League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
“I googled what the community does for Hispanic Heritage Month, and Google said nothing,” Gonzalez said. “There has to be a walk or something. I called LULAC and they said, ‘well, that’s pretty hard to do.’ I didn’t ask if it was hard. I asked if you wanted to be a part of it.”
For Frank Arredondo, the president of the San Marcos LULAC, the event is just the beginning of a new movement toward Hispanic Heritage Month being a larger celebration both locally and statewide.
“It’s an inaugural event,” Arredondo said. “Like anything else, an inaugural event, if it’s something that’s put together well and the people like it, the reception and everything, it’ll be better next year. It’s time our people are recognized.”
According to the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau, 42% of the San Marcos population is Hispanic or Latino. With that large a population of Latinos, the event’s organizers believe that making everyone feel equally represented during Hispanic Heritage Month is vital.
Anastasia Kinnebrew, history and art senior, believes that the Latino influence the locals share is a large part of the cultural identity of San Marcos.
“There’s a very large population of people like me and not like me … we’re all here and we’re all contributing to the culture,” Kinnebrew said. “Our population is insanely diverse. It’s amazing. I’m happy to have settled here for the three years I’ve attended college.”
Initial plans for the Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk were to end the procession at San Marcos Plaza Park, but due to a communications error, the reservation fell through. Rather than scrambling to find a new location to end the walk, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, the county’s first Latino county judge, reached out to Centro. Two days after the event team met with him, Judge Becerra secured the Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk’s final destination: right outside his office.
“It’s a direct shot,” Gonzalez said. “And it’s in the middle of town where everyone’s going to be able to see the walk.”
The proceeds and fundraising collected from the Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk and its sponsors will go toward improving access to Centro’s afterschool programs as well as funding scholarships for graduating high school seniors. The list of the event’s sponsors includes Texas State’s Center for the Study of the Southwest, the Center for Diversity and Gender Studies and the Department of Sociology’s Latino/a Studies.
With the support of locals, students and more than 20 sponsors, Gonzalez and the Hispanic Heritage Exhibition Walk’s organizers are hoping to see the community event grow larger every year.
“I think that’s also something that the community has not seen is the local community working together with the Texas State community,” Gonzalez said. “I’m excited about what that’s going to bring for the following years, just because this is the first year I’m sure 50 years from now, we’ll still be doing this.”
For more information and to volunteer, contact Lucy Gonzalez via email at [email protected] or by phone at (512) 781-8488.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star