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Waco Hispanic Museum shines light on Hispanic heritage, contributions to city

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Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 16:15:57-04

WACO, Texas — The city of Waco has a rich Hispanic history, but not a lot of people know about it. In 2013, Louis Garcia and Waco City Council Member Alice Rodriguez wanted to change that.

"We need our children to know because if you look at the history books, we're not in many history books," Garcia told 25 News.

"There's nothing here that says the Hispanic community has been here all these years to help Waco grow," Rodriguez said.

The two partnered together almost 10 years ago to start the Waco Hispanic Museum.

"We wanted to leave our kids a place to come in and be proud of what we had done, what we have been a part of here in the city of Waco," Rodriguez said. "We want them to know, we want everybody to know we were here, we are here and we are proud of being here."

"We've been here for a very long time," Garcia said. "We have helped Waco, built Waco, supported Waco, lived in Waco, raised our families in Waco and we just want people to understand that."

Garcia said he hopes children feel inspired by the stories of their ancestors to make their own contributions to the city.

"Like I said, there's not in the history books. So you have to tell your children, teach your children the real history sometimes," he said.

While Hispanic History Month shines a spotlight on some of those stories, Garcia said it should happen more often in the Hispanic community.

"It's like Mother's Day," Garcia said. "You shouldn't just celebrate it on Mother's Day, it's every day. Hispanic history is the same way. You wake up with it, you sleep with it, you live it."

The museum is located in the South Waco Recreation Center but the two say they hope it will expand to a bigger location in the future.

"The pandemic slowed us down with our fundraising events and whatnot but that is our goal to have a big museum somewhere in a big facility full of Hispanic heritage and history," Rodriguez said.

People can visit the museum by appointment only. To schedule one, you can call Garcia at (254) 548-9730.