Centro Cultural Hispano De San Marcos
Como un fénix
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Like a phoenix Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos continues to regenerate. From the changes in the physical building to the changes in leadership and how they get things done, Centro is ever changing for the better.
When Mrs. Philo , the founder of Centro, talked about the history of the organization she mentioned that the building they were housed in was built to replace the original Southside school which burned down. People I interviewed kept on mentioned words like "rebirth" and "renewal" when talking about Centro and it's changes. I think the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos can be thought of as a phoenix that continuously regenerates itself. I read that the phoenix also has the ability to regenerate itself when wounded. Through my interviews I have noticed that the leadership team makes proactive changes when they see their strategies are not working or hurting Centro.
Southside School was on the property. It burned down and the building that stands was constructed. It was constructed in 1949. It was also referred to as the "Mexican School" because it housed the Mexican American children in a segregated setting. Many people I have interviewed have indicated that calling it the "Mexican School" was meant as an insult. It was a way to point out that the school housed the Mexican children who were less intelligent and less worthy of an education.
The building is a significant part of the history of San Marcos and has undergone many changes.
In 1965 it was renamed to Bonham school. In 1966 one of the two bilingual education programs took place in Bonham. A full day kindergarten program started in 1970.
In 2009, the building became the home of the Centro Cultural Hispano, which serves as a community beacon for the preservation, development, promotion and celebration of the Hispanic arts, culture, heritage and values.
The interior of the building has undergone some changes. Some aspects remain the same such as some of the murals. The exterior remains very similair as when it was constructed in 1949.
Initially Centro only used a portion of the building because that is all they could afforad. Now they use it all.