Hays County Judge Creates Historical Council

Irma Gaitan

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Judge Ruben Becerra, the first Hispanic County Judge, has formed the “Council for the Indigenous and Tejano Community” (CITC) to facilitate the community’s desire to address the multitude of undertold and un-told Indigenous and Tejano stories.   

The CITC’s mission is to preserve the history, traditions, and rich culture of the Indigenous and Tejano people of Hays County. 

This will be accomplished through oral histories, art, and culture and the CITC will work closely with the distinguished Indigenous Cultures Institute. 

Bobbie Garza-Hernandez

Judge Becerra said, “I am creating this council because much help is needed in telling these stories.”   

Judge Becerra has appointed Gina Alba-Rogers as Chair, and Irma Gaitan as Vice-Chair.  Alba-Rogers and Gaitan previously served on the Hays County Historical Commission. 

They had a hand in the final edits for Las Mutualista Cuauhtmoc historical marker and actively researched edits to the fallen Roque de la Portilla marker. 

Anita Collins

Alba-Rogers wrote the narrative for the undertold marker for the Alba Ranch which will soon be erected in Dripping Springs, and last month submitted two narratives to the Texas Historical Commission for undertold markers.

One for the courthouse grounds telling the story of the Indigenous people of Hays County, San Marcos de Neve Spanish Villa, and Juan Martin de Veramendi and another for the James-Duran-Alba Cemetery.  

In addition to Alba-Rogers, whose ancestor was the first registered birth in Hays County in 1903 and Gaitan, a third-generation Mutualista and organizer for Danza Matlachine, the founding members of the CITC also include Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra; Maria Rocha, Director of the Indigenous Cultures Institute; Frank Arredondo, a fifth-generation Hays County resident and former Mayor of San Marcos; Bobbie Garza-Hernandez, whose family has resided in Hays County for seven generations and former Executive Director of Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos; along with Anita Azenet Collins, a first-generation Tejana and award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker.    

Frank Arredondo

The CITC now seeks undertold Indigenous and Tejano stories that meet the criteria established by the Texas Historical Commission.  

Undertold stories are stories whose topics are of an undertold, or untold, aspect from Hays County History.    

These stories will significantly enrich Hays County’s history.  Not only will the CITC pursue new Undertold Historical Markers, but will also conduct oral histories, written stories, booklets with family stories, cultural education, and arts projects. 

Judge Becerra said, “We are here to empower the storytelling of the Indigenous and Tejano people from our community.”

Maria Rocha

Members of the community who are interested in Indigenous and Tejano history, arts, and cultural education and who want to actively participate in this group are encouraged to call the County Judge’s Office at 512-393-2205 or email judge.becerra@co.hays.tx.us or the Chair at lakewaysunfish@gmail.com.

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