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After 12 years of planning, Texas leaders unveiled a Capitol grounds monument on March 29 honoring Tejanos, the first Spanish and Mexican descendants who introduced many of our state’s proud traditions and culture.
This is el sueño (the dream) of McAllen family physician and TAFP member Cayetano E. Barrera III, M.D., as event emcee State Rep. Richard Peña Raymond said at the unveiling ceremony. Back in 2000, Barrera and his wife were walking the grounds of the Texas Capitol when they noticed that none of the statues or monuments recognized Hispanic contributions to the state. With his love of history and respect for genealogy, Barrera knew that the Tejano contribution was too important in the formation of Texas culture to ignore. And over the next decade, he worked as president of the Tejano Monument Committee to meet with sponsors, architects, engineers, historians, board members, legislators, and all other necessary contacts to raise support and funding for the monument.
The final product is a grand tribute to the Tejano contribution. It features 11 life-size bronzed statues mounted on slabs of pink granite: a vaquero on horseback corralling two longhorns, a Tejano couple with a baby, a young girl, a boy leading a goat, and an explorer gazing over the whole scene.more