Enrique Barbosa “Henry” González, First Latinx Representative, Texas

Enrique Barbosa “Henry” González (1916 – 2000) was the first Hispanic Representative elected from Texas.  González took office on November 4, 1961, and served in Congress longer than any other Latinx (as of 2017).  His parents emigrated from Mexico, and he was born in San Antonio, Texas.  González studied at the University of Texas and San Antonio College, and earned a law degree at St. Mary’s University School of Law. He fought for his country during World War II.  While serving on the San Antonio City Commission, he spoke out against segregation (a brave act in the 1950s). In Congress, he attracted national media attention for his courageous and unconventional positions on critical issues.  González retired from Congress in 1998.

Dia de los Muertos / DOTD + DIY

Today, we’re blending the practical North American tradition of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) with the spiritual South American tradition of DOTD (Day of the Dead).  During the DOTD, or Dia de los Muertos, Americans honor friends and family members who have passed from this world by building “ofrendas” or altars.  According to the city of San Antonio’s Centro Cultural Aztlan, the altars welcome returning spirits who drop by for the Holiday.  Building your altar starts with a photo of your loved one (the Aztecs had a very early version of Facebook), and continues with adding fruit punch (this is a favorite with spirits – who knew?), sweet “pan de muerto”, which is a round loaf topped with skull and cross bones, and a number of symbolic presents and mementos from the deceased person’s life.  For a complete DIY for your DOTD, please visit the Texas Monthly.  For a complete tour of the celebration, please view the online DOTD exhibition at the Smithsonian Latino Center.  (Illustration by Marc Burckhardt for the Texas Monthly)