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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

Make a Splash into Hispanic Heritage Month with Together for a Cause

Photo+credit%3A+Photo+by+Mia+Estrada

Photo credit: Photo by Mia Estrada

The San Marcos River is not the only place people are taking a splash during the last weeks of summer. The annual SPLASH Festival is a city-wide, two-week event celebrating the city’s arts, culture, heritage and the river.
Though the main attraction of the festival is the river, the majority of events are geared toward diversity and the different types of people who call San Marcos home.
The Mermaid Society of Texas organized the two-week, multi-event festival, which ran Sept. 7 to Sept. 21. The event encompassed all of the people, things and artifacts making San Marcos beautiful.
July Moreno, founder and executive director of the Mermaid Society, spoke on the purpose of the organization and its impact on the community.
“We have created this platform to serve as a way to connect and celebrate our city and find ways in the community where we can collaborate,” Moreno said.
Together for a Cause, a nonprofit organization raising funds for Hays County, held a Diez y Seis parade Saturday, Sept. 21 in Downtown San Marcos. Celebrating the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, various leaders of the community and well-known organizations attended to show their Latinx pride.
Together for a Cause holds two major fundraisers: Diez y Seiz Festival and the Chili Cook-off. Money the organization raises goes toward helping the community by offering to citizens’ pay electric and medical bills, funeral expenses and rent.
Rolando Saucedo, Together for a Cause coordinator, proudly speaks about the extensive work the organization does for the San Marcos community, as well as Hays County, Kyle, Dripping Springs, Buda and Wimberley.
“We fill the gap by working with several local social agencies,” Saucedo said. “If those agencies cannot assist a citizen, whether they have already helped them or they do not provide that service, they refer them to us and we fill in that gap.”
The parade has been an annual tradition for eight years now, but this year is the first time the city held it in the heart of San Marcos. Together for a Cause teamed up with San Marcos Art League—a group that puts on weekly art festivals in The Square—to allow the Diez y Seis festivities to expand art and food vendors to enable every aspect of the event to embrace the culture.
Not only did several Hispanic pride organizations make an appearance, but elected officials of the city were in attendance. Together for a Cause showed their pride, along with the school board, drill team, drumline, commissioners court, mayor, county judge and all six city council members.
Alyssa Hagar, psychology sophomore, attended the parade and art show and said she cannot wait to see what Together for a Cause has in store for next year.
“I like to go to as many Hispanic celebration events as possible to embrace my culture and see what this city has to offer,” Hagar said. “I loved the energy of the parade and seeing all of the smiles from the children watching.”
Due to the event’s rise in popularity, Together for a Cause honored one local citizen with a lifetime achievement award for the continuous contributions they have made by serving the community in various ways.
Raphael Gonzalez was the first citizen to achieve the award from the State Congressman Lloyd Doggett, encompassing the significance of contributing to the organization through generous donations, volunteering and organizing major events.
Saucedo said he welcomes everyone to next year’s festival, which will be even bigger than the last. He wants people to remember celebrating this holiday is just as important and vital to our culture as Texans, but not limited to the Mexican community.
“Diez y Seis is not only a Mexican holiday but a Texas holiday,” Saucedo said. “In 1810 when the Diez y Seis celebration began, Texas was Mexico, which most people tend to forget.”
Together for a Cause is a support system for the San Marcos community and various neighboring communities in Texas. For more information regarding its work and upcoming events, visit its website https://www.togetherforacause.org/

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