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MAY 2018

SECRET STRUGGLE A new mom shares her postpartum emotional battle

LEGENDARY LA ADELITA

The story of a 13-year-old girl who joined the Mexican Revolution

KEEPING THE PAST ALIVE Rose Mary Whitehead Jones established a museum to preserve the past

MAY 2018

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FROM THE EDITOR

Legendary Women PUBLISHER Sandra Castillo EDITOR Karen Gleason CREATIVE DIRECTOR Megan Tackett WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS Brian Argabright Rubén Cantú Karen Gleason Megan Tackett Scrappy Doodles Photo and Design ADVERTISING Kim Dupill Ashley Lopez Albert Treviño PRODUCTION Jorge Alarcon Roland Cardenas Antonio Morales EDITORIAL karen.gleason@delrionewsherald.com 830-775-1551, Ext. 247 ADVERTISING ashley.lopez@delrionewsherald.com 830-775-1551, Ext. 250 STORY IDEAS karen.gleason@delrionewsherald.com

2205 North Bedell Avenue • Del Rio, TX 78840 delrionewsherald.com Del Rio Grande is published by the Del Rio News-Herald. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without written permission of the publisher. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher of this magazine. Editorial and advertising does not constitute advice but is considered informative.

On an April morning 36 years ago, I found out that I was going to be a mother. Thirty-six years later, on another April day, I learned I was going to be a grandmother. It’s a wonderful feeling, mostly because it is not fraught with all the fear I felt at becoming a mother. Today there is only the joy of anticipation, of preparing to welcome the newest Gleason into the world. May is the month when we celebrate Mother’s Day, of course, and we here at Grande wanted to celebrate not only moms, but also some of the strong women who in a real sense were the “mothers” of our community. As we talked about the idea of “strong mothers,” we thought immediately of the enduring legend of “La Adelita,” the woman who is said to have joined the Mexican Revolution and who, as it turns out, is buried in our very own San Felipe Cemetery. Rubén Cantú takes a look at the story of “La Adelita” and spins a tale that weaves history, mythology and national identity into a fascinating fabric. We came up with our own “Adelita” for the cover, and we hope you enjoy our interpretation. Brian Argabright tells the story of legendary teacher Irene Cardenas Cardwell, who taught in the local public schools for more than 30 years and served as surrogate mother and role model to her hundreds of students. I spoke with the daughter of another legendary local mother, Rose Mary Whitehead Jones, who, along with her mother Della Whitehead Jones, founded the Whitehead Memorial Museum to preserve Val Verde County’s rich and vibrant history. Megan Tackett spent some time with Del Rio’s first female mayor, Dora Alcalá, for this month’s Closet Confidential and also sat down with new mom Vanessa Anguiano for a frank discussion about a serious issue – postpartum depression. Finally, May is also the month when we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and we hope you’ll enjoy our roundup of the activities and make your way to Brown Plaza during the celebration for some tortas and cerveza. Happy Mother’s Day! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Karen Gleason Grande Editor

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CONTENTS 8

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CALENDAR

CINCO CELEBRATION

Keep busy this month at these local events.

Join the Brown Plaza Association for Cinco de Mayo 2018.

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THE LEGEND OF LA ADELITA A 13-year-old Mexican Revolutionary’s final resting place in Del Rio.

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THE HARDEST JOB A mother tells her story of postpartum depression.

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RECIPE

FASHION Alessi Bazaar fashions celebrate Mexican heritage and design.

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CINCO PICKS Everything you need to celebrate Cinco right.

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CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL

Celebrate Cinco with a family enchilada recipe.

Peek inside the closet of Del Rio’s first female mayor.

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DRINK A Cripple Creek bartender shakes up the classic margarita.

KEEPING THE PAST ALIVE

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IRENE CARDWELL Iconic educator leaves her mark on the community.

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A GRANDE LIFE A longtime maternity nurse shares her story.

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STRONGER TOGETHER Casa hosts annual women’s day seminar.

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LAST LOOK Our creative director wraps up the May issue.

The daughter of a museum founder shares her mother’s passion for history.

On the cover: Native Del Rioan Julie Diaz interprets a vision of “La Adelita.” Diaz is a full-time teller at Border Federal Credit Union, where she has worked for nearly three years. She is also pursuing a degree in education at Sul Ross State University-Rio Grande College, with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. Our thanks to Noris Gordon of Alessi Bazaar for providing clothing and accessories with a south of the border flair and to Larry Pope for loaning his Winchester 1894 .30-caliber center-fire rifle and Smith & Wesson top break .44-caliber Russian revolver, both firearms from the actual period during which “La Adelita” joined the revolution.• Photo by Karen Gleason 6

GRANDE / MAY 2018


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MAY CALENDAR Keep busy this month at these fun local events

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CINCO DE MAYO

FIESTA OF FLIGHT

Brown Plaza 305 Cantu St. • Various times The annual Cinco de Mayo festivities include Casa de la Cultura’s Pachanga on the Patio, food vendors and live music.

Laughlin Air Force Base Highway 90 • 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to visit Laughlin AFB to watch spectacular air performances. Visit laughlinopenhouse.com for more information.

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Whitehead Memorial Museum 1308 S Main St. • 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Support local vendors and small businesses at the Main Street Program’s Saturday evening market.

Del Rio Civic Center 1915 Veterans Boulevard • 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. Support cancer survivors and their loved ones at this annual American Cancer Society event.

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MARKET AT THE MUSEUM

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MOVIE AT THE MUSEUM

ROCKABILLY BBQ

Whitehead Memorial Museum 1308 S Main St. • Sunset Catch a free summer flick at the museum and enjoy a night under the stars.

Casa de la Cultura 302 Cantu St. • 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Put on your dancing shoes and shine up your hot rod for the Casa’s annual Rockabilly BBQ.


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The Legend of La Adelita A Mexican Revolution icon, a woman who has inspired armed movements around the world, found her final resting place in a local cemetery

Story and photos by RUBÉN CANTÚ

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woman whose story has traveled around the world, one who has inspired revolutions and revolutionaries alike, a woman whose actions, beauty and bravery were immortalized in a song, found her last resting place in the San Felipe Cemetery, in south Del Rio. The story of the Mexican Revolution icon and her legend have deep roots in Del Rio. The history of Adela Velarde Pérez, also known as “La Adelita,” has been widely documented by local author and historian Jose Alberto Galindo Galindo. Galindo, historian of the city of Zaragoza, Coah., Mexico, and author of 12 regional history books, has presented his findings across the country and across the sea. His Spanish language publication “Un Cielo de Metrallas, la Verdadera Historia de La Adelita,” (A Shrapnel Covered Sky, The True Story of La Adelita) recounts the story of Velarde.

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“Defying the will of her family, when she was 13 years old in Ciudad Juárez, she decided to join the Mexican Revolution, in 1913,” Galindo said. The legend depicts “Adelita” as a soldier’s aide, cooking, hauling water and carrying bandoleers to help Mexican revolutionaries reload their Winchester 30-30s, ducking in the trenches. Galindo said the reality is a little different. “She was a nurse, she joined the Mexican Revolutionary Army as a nurse, and she was repudiated by her family, which was anaristocratic family in Ciudad Juárez. Back in the day women would only leave the family home to get married,” Galindo said. Another common misconception, Galindo said, is the fact that her romance with Antonio Gil del Río Armenta was long-lived. “Adelita met Antonio Gil del Río Armenta when she joined the White Cross. He was a sergeant in the Mexican Revolutionary Army,


The resting place of Adela Velarde Pérez in the San Felipe Cemetery is marked with a headstone and a plaque. The plaque was unveiled in 2014 when Del Rio and Mexican officials celebrated the 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

and they lived a short romance, as he was killed in Gomez Palacio, Durango, when she was 14 years old,” Galindo said. “There was a battle, and Del Río Armenta was taking a canteen to a colonel across the street when he was riddled with bullets and ultimately died of his wounds.” Before dying, Galindo said, Del Río Armenta asked Velarde to look into his rucksack. There she would find a paper with the lyrics of the song that would later become the “national anthem” of the Mexican Revolution, a battle cry adopted by many other armed movements in Latin America and around the world. “But the lyrics were not completed and Del Río Armenta asked Adelita to write down the last part of the song as he composed it with his last breath, so she wound up writing the last part of the song herself,” Galindo said. Col. Alfredo Villegas, a top ranked official in the Mexican Revolutionary Army led by Francisco I. Madero, and who later married Velarde, is also mentioned in the song, Galindo said. “Y hasta el propio coronel la respetaba (And even the own colonel respected her), that part talks about the colonel having Adelita in high regard,” Galindo said. After the Revolution was consummated, Galindo said, Velarde moved to Mexico City where she became an employee of the Mexican Postal Service. The Del Rio connection came through Villegas, who was well-acquainted with this region since his days with the Revolution. Villegas, Galindo said, used to smuggle firearms for the Revolutionary Army across the Texas-Mexico border. “Villegas worked for the Flores Magón brothers. In fact, when Madero was incarcerated, Villegas rescued him and took him to San Antonio, where they

Adela Velarde Pérez in this undated photo, after participating in the Mexican Revolution. She became a postal employee in Mexico City where she stayed until 1965, when she married Col. Alfredo Villegas and moved to Del Rio. GRANDE / MAY 2018

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Author and historian José Alberto Galindo Galindo presenting his book in Havana, Cuba along Mexican Ambassador Enrique Martínez y Martínez. Galindo’s book on “La Adelita” has been adopted and printed by the Cuban government.

signed the Plan de San Luis,” Galindo said. The document, signed in 1910, demanded nullification of the presidency of Porfirio Díaz and to name Francisco I. Madero provisional president. Díaz had Madero incarcerated after stealing the election from him, prompting the start of the Mexican Revolution. Long after the armed movement settled Villegas, who was living with his family in Del Rio, became a widower in 1963. Villegas would later find Velarde in Mexico City, where they married in 1965. The couple lived together until 1971, when she died of ovarian cancer. Adela Velarde Pérez, Sept. 8, 1900 – Sept. 4, 1971, was recognized as a Mexican Revolution veteran on Feb. 22, 1941. In 1962 she was presented with the Honor Legion award and received a lifelong pension for her participation in the Mexican Revolution. On Nov. 20, 2014 a group of Del Rioans under “Amigos de La Adelita,” Mexican officials and City of Del Rio officials, honored the woman and her legend by unveiling a plaque on her gravesite at San Felipe Cemetery. Also in attendance were members of the Brown Plaza Association and City of Acuña officials. Galindo said the origin of the song has been challenged numerous times, but historical records, newspaper clips and welldocumented history proves that Adela Velarde Pérez inspired the 12

GRANDE / MAY 2018

song by Antonio Gil del Río Armenta. Galindo said Velarde gave birth to a son, fathered by Del Rio Armenta, who became a pilot and died during World War II. Galindo has presented his findings and historical research on Velarde in numerous places, including Mexico, the United States, Italy and Cuba. “Very little is known about Del Rio Armenta, we only know that he was born in Plateros, a community near Fresnillo, Zacatecas, approximately on 1892. There are no records of his birth,” Galindo said. In recorded interviews Villegas recognized Velarde’s bravery and her participation in the armed movement that would mark the history of Mexico for years to come. Galindo said that there is an ongoing project to further honor the memory of Velarde, by building a monument on her gravesite. “We are working with sculptor Leslie Luna of Sabinas, Coah., Mexico, there is a scale model of the sculpture, we have been working in raising the funds for the bronze sculpture,” Galindo said. The sculpture, a life-size woman laying down on a bed of flowers and bandoleers, will cost an estimate of $42,000. “We have several businesses and individuals who have committed to support the project,” Galindo said. “However we still have a long way to go to complete the funding.” •


Adela Velarde Pérez Sept. 8, 1900 – Sept. 4, 1971 Enlisted with the Mexican Revolutionary Army from Feb 20, 1913 – Aug. 15, 1914

La cancion

The song

Music and lyrics: Antonio Gil del Río Armenta

Music and lyrics: Antonio Gil del Río Armenta Translated by Ruben Cantu

En lo alto de una abrupta serranía acampado se encontraba un regimiento y una moza que valiente lo seguía locamente enamorada del sargento

Atop an abrupt mountain range camping a regiment was found and a young girl who bravely was following it madly in love with the sergeant Popular among the troop was Adelita a woman the sergeant worshiped besides being brave she was beautiful and even the coronel would respect her   And it was heard saying the man who so much loved her   If Adelita would run away with another man I would follow her on land and on sea if by sea on a warship if by land on a military train   And if I happen to die in the battlefront and my body they are going to bury; Adelita, for God sake I beg you go and cry for me   If Adelita would accept to be my wife and if Adelita would accept to be my woman I would buy a silk dress for her to take her to dance at the headquarters

Popular entre la tropa era Adelita la mujer que el sargento idolatraba que además de ser valiente era bonita que hasta el mismo coronel la respetaba Y se oía que decía aquél que tanto la quería… Si Adelita se fuera con otro la seguiría por tierra y por mar si por mar, en un buque de guerra si por tierra, en un tren militar Y si acaso yo muero en campaña y mi cadáver lo van a sepultar Adelita, por Dios te lo ruego que con tus ojos me vayas a llorar Si Adelita quisiera ser mi esposa y si Adelita fuera mi mujer le compraría un vestido de seda para llevarla a bailar al cuartel

GRANDE / MAY 2018

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Secret Struggle Story and photos by MEGAN TACKETT

A new mother shares her experience with postpartum depression

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“I knew about postpartum depression but I didn’t think it was going to happen to me.”

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anessa Anguiano and her six-monthold son, Joseph, are happy people with sincere smiles and effervescent laughter. She’s successfully transitioned into motherhood but admits postpartum depression struck her unexpectedly at a time when she thought overwhelming happiness was the only acceptable emotion. Anguiano, 27, thought her pre-motherhood tribulations were over after 24 hours of labor and a cesarean-section surgery. The local credit union assistant branch manager said she couldn’t comprehend the wave of emotions she felt when she and her husband left the hospital to start their lives as first-time parents. “They were wheeling us out of the hospital and I just started crying,” Anguiano said. “I don’t know if I was sad or in the moment realizing I wouldn’t have the help I was getting. Now it’s just me and my husband.” The new parents returned from the Methodist Hospital in San Antonio to Del Rio and were greeted with welcoming banners and new baby decorations. Anguiano said her body was still recovering from the surgery, and her state of exhaustion prevented her from feeling the emotions she’d expected to experience. “I knew about postpartum depression but I didn’t think it was going to happen to me,” Anguiano said. “I would wake up sad. I didn’t want to go anywhere and I didn’t want to do anything.” Anguiano’s husband, David, said he noticed a shift in his wife’s typically cheerful personality after they returned home from the hospital. He waited to say something, assuming she was probably just stressed from being home with the baby while he was at work. “I decided something’s not right here,” David

said. “She was very limited with her expressions and her senses and feelings. She was very shut down.” David, a detective for the Del Rio Police Department, had undergone training to recognize the signs of postpartum depression to help with child abuse investigations. “Postpartum is a very common thing, and it happens more than people are aware,” David said. “It’s a matter of the severity of how it affects a certain individual.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in nine women experience symptoms of postpartum depression but some states report numbers as high as one in five. The CDC reports symptoms like feelings of anger, withdrawing from loved ones, feeling disconnected from your baby, worrying that you will hurt your baby and doubting your ability to care for the baby might indicate someone is experiencing postpartum depression. He and his mother-in-law finally sat down with the new mom to express their concerns, but Anguiano denied any feelings of depression. She carried on for a couple weeks until she reached what she referred to as her breaking point. “I was talking to (Joseph) saying, ‘Hi baby!’ and tears were just running down my face,” Anguiano said. “It was involuntary. I had him in my arms and I’m just bawling my eyes out.” It was the realization from a quiz through a new mother app called “What to Expect” that made Anguiano realize she was struggling with postpartum depression. She confessed her emotions to her family and her doctor, who offered guidance and reassured what she was going through was completely normal for new mothers. Accepting her temporary condition, Anguiano said, was the first step to her recovery. Although

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“Accept the help. Talk to people about what you’re feeling.”

her doctor recommended antidepressants, Anguiano said she wanted to proceed without them, but felt reassured knowing it was an option if her condition didn’t improve. Twelve weeks after she gave birth, Anguiano returned to work, a decision that helped ease her symptoms of depression. She’d receive pictures of baby Joseph from her mother and sister during her work day and felt eager to return home to her baby. Both Anguiano and her loved ones noticed her condition improving and she returned to her usual, happy self.

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For new mothers, Anguiano recommends staying aware of your emotions, accepting help from loved ones and to not feel shameful about reaching out to medical professionals. “Talk to people about what you’re feeling,” Anguiano said. “I feel like that’s what hurt me.” Since her experience with postpartum depression, Anguiano said she makes time not only for herself, but for her relationship with David. Together, they’re enjoying all of Joseph’s milestones and accepting the raw emotions that accompany parenthood. •


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Alma’s Chicken Enchiladas Photo by KAREN GLEASON; Recipe by ALMA NUÑEZ

Ingredients

Method

• 4-6 pieces of chicken without skin (I use 6 chicken legs)

• Boil chicken together with two minced garlic cloves. • While chicken cooks, open dried chile anchos and remove seeds. Place chiles in boiling water for about eight minutes and set aside. • Shred the queso fresco and finely dice onion. Put each in a separate bowl and set aside. • Once chicken is cooked (for about 35 to 45 minutes), carefully take it out of pot and place it in a bowl. Do not get rid of the chicken broth. You may use it to make a yellow rice to accompany your enchilada plate. • Debone and shred chicken and set aside. • Place the boiled chile ancho in a blender and add salt and garlic to taste. • In a pan big enough to fit a tortilla, add some virgin olive oil and the chile ancho sauce. Place on medium heat until the mixture starts simmering. • In a small skillet over medium heat, heat some oil. Lightly fry the tortillas until just soft. Do not crisp. • Repeat until all the tortillas have been fried. • Dip tortillas in chile ancho sauce, making sure both sides have sauce. • Place the tortilla on a plate, add queso fresco, onion (optional), shredded chicken and roll. Repeat with other tortillas. • Place the enchiladas in a clean plate and add more queso fresco on top and accompany them with yellow rice on the side. Enjoy!

• Two cloves garlic, minced • 4-6 dried chile anchos • Queso fresco • Onion • Salt • Corn tortillas

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Erica’s Prickly Pear Margarita Photo by KAREN GLEASON; Recipe by ERICA DEL RIO

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Ingredients

Method

Fresh strawberries and blueberries Two shots of triple sec Two-and-a-half shots of El Jimador tequila Generous squirt of fresh lime juice Simple syrup A small squirt of sweet and sour * Prickly pear concentrate (comes prepared)

Combine ingredients in metal shaker Put top on shaker and shake vigorously; channel your inner bartender Rim large margarita glass with pink sugar Pour shaken mixture into margarita glass Garnish with fresh fruit slices, lime, lemon and orange Add colorful straw and serve

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* Prickly pear concentrate is a syrup made from prickly pear puree. It is made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, which happens to also grow wild all over Val Verde County. The syrup imparts a brilliant hot-pink color to the finished drink, and the taste of the prickly pear fruit has been described as delicate and almost melon-like, a perfect foil to the fresh fruits used in the recipe above. Find this exotic mix online from restaurant specialty stores.


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Food and vendor booths line the edges of the historic Brown Plaza in the south Del Rio neighborhood of San Felipe for the three-daylong celebration of Cinco de Mayo. A variety of musical acts, from mariachis to country, are set to perform at various times during the event.

Celebrating Cinco Join the Brown Plaza Association for their annual festivities Story by KAREN GLEASON; and photos by MEGAN TACKETT

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el Rio’s rich Hispanic culture and its deep ties with the Republic of Mexico will be the focus of three days of celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year. The site of the celebration will be the historic Plaza Brown, a redbrick square dominated by a white-and-red kiosko – bandstand – in the city’s San Felipe neighborhood. The Brown Plaza Association will host the event, and everyone is invited. “Cinco de Mayo is when we celebrate Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla, in which French forces were defeated, and that’s one thing that we will be bringing into this year’s celebration, is a presentation by the Mexican Consul of Del Rio of the history and significance of Cinco de Mayo. We’re going to have a presentation telling what the Cinco de Mayo is all about. This will be the first

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year we do this,” said Dolores Martinez, president of the Brown Plaza Association. Martinez said the Plaza Brown itself was dedicated to the city’s Hispanics and to the San Felipe neighborhood on Cinco de Mayo in 1908 by George W. Brown. Brown is described as “long a friend and an admirer of Spanishspeaking people.” Brown, according to a history provided by Martinez, “saw the need of a recreational center and donated a piece of land with the expressed purpose that it be converted into a plaza or square for the community.” Originally christened the G.W. Brown Plaza, the site soon became the hub of the San Felipe community, and there are descriptions


Handmade jewelry, colorful huipil blouses from the interior of Mexico and refreshing aguas frescas are only some of the items for sale during the three-day Cinco de Mayo festivities. In this photo taken during the 2017 celebration, vendors set up in the courtyard outside the Casa De La Cultura off Brown Plaza.

Great food is a hallmark of the city’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. Everything from funnel cakes to hamburgers to gorditas to tortas is available to tempt the tastebuds. Vendors typically also sell water, beer, sodas and aguas frescas to wash it all down.

of “families promenading around it in the old Spanish fashion,” and it became a place where friends would meet to share news and gossip. “Mr. George W. Brown wanted the Hispanics from the neighborhood of San Felipe to have a place for their celebrations, so this is why we celebrate the Cinco de Mayo at Brown Plaza,” Martinez said. This year’s Cinco celebration will be three days long, beginning on May 3 and continuing through May 5. Martinez said the first day of the celebration, May 3, will feature a new event – the crowning of a Miss Cinco de Mayo. Seven young women will compete for the chance to represent the celebration and the Brown Plaza Association over the next year, Martinez said. May 3 will also feature the annual Cinco de Mayo Parade. “We’re inviting everyone to come out and join us, not only to see the parade, but to join the parade, with colorful costumes and music, because we want to make it happy and enjoyable for everybody,” Martinez said. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. May 3 at San Felipe and Garza streets, will wind down Garza Street, turn on Cantu Street, proceed to Jones Street, then to Andrade Street and back to Brown Plaza. There is no fee to participate in the parade “After the parade returns to Brown Plaza, we will have the opening ceremonies for the threeday event, and this year we’ve invited officials from the city, the county, the school district and the hospital district. We’re trying to get everybody involved,” she said. The Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant begins shortly after 7 p.m., following the opening ceremonies. “Our theme will be ‘Fiesta Under the Stars,’ and if everything goes well, my pageant director, Gloria Castaneda, has promised there will

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Radio personality and Brown Plaza Association member Javier Martinez, right, speaks about the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo during the 2017 Cinco de Mayo celebration at Brown Plaza. Martinez is flanked by a number of local elected officials, queens, Val Verde County Judge Efrain Valdez, Del Rio Mayor Robert Garza, Mexican Consul Carlos Obrador and others on the first day of the three-day event.

be a surprise,” Martinez said. Food and merchandise vendors will set up on Brown Plaza proper and will offer a variety of delicious eats and tasty treats. “You can expect to find fruits, flavored aguas, brisket tacos, bolis, hamburgers, gorditas, tortas, and you can also find Oriental food and Kettle corn. You can also find toys,” Martinez said. This year, another new feature of the event will be the “Kid Zone,” Martinez said. “This is going to have a little obstacle course, a ‘Go Fish’ booth, a football toss and a ring toss. We started with four little games, just to see how it goes,” Martinez said. Music will take over the plaza on the second day of the celebration. “We’ll be having A.J. Castillo and La Sombra. La Sombra will begin playing at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, May 4, and A.J. Castillo will play at 9:45 p.m.,” Martinez said. “These are fairly well-known artists. A.J. Castillo is originally from Austin, and La Sombra is originally from Chicago, Ill. Now they are in San Antonio, and they have been nominated for four Tejano awards this year,” Martinez said. Several local musicians will be performing as well, including

mariachis and a jazz ensemble made up of students from the local public school district. The final day of the celebration will be a day-long event, beginning at noon and ending at 10 p.m., Martinez said. “On the final day, we will feature the Casa De La Cultura’s folkloric dancers, and the choir from the local public school district. The Mexican Consul is going to be bringing in four singers,” Martinez said. An Eagle Pass mariachi group will perform at 3 p.m., and the Blevins Band will play at 7:30 p.m. “We tried to get a variety of everything,” Martinez said. Fiesta-goers will find something interesting to see and delicious food to sample at any time during the three days of the event. “We want everyone to come and experience the heart of Del Rio, because that’s really what San Felipe is, because this is where Del Rio started. We can’t lose that tradition, and we have to keep it alive for all of our young people,” Martinez said. She said the Cinco de Mayo celebration is the biggest annual event hosted by the Brown Plaza Association. “This celebration is open and free for the entire community. Bring your own chairs,” Martinez said. •

See you at Cinco... Events Calendar Thursday, May 3

Friday, May 4

Saturday, May 5

• 6:30 p.m. – Annual Cinco de Mayo Parade begins at San Felipe and West Garza streets • 7:10 p.m. – Opening ceremonies at Brown Plaza; Cinco de Mayo Presentation by the Consulate of Mexico • 7:30 p.m. – Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant, “Fiesta Under The Stars”

• 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Food booths, vendors and beer at Brown Plaza; Del Rio High School Mariachi, Del Rio High School Jazz Band • 7:45 p.m. – La Sombra de Tony Guerrero • 9:45 p.m. – AJ Castillo

• Noon to 10 p.m. Food booths, vendors and beer at Brown Plaza; Del Rio High School Choir, Casa De La Cultura Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico • 3:30 p.m. – Mariachi Relampago • 7:30 p.m. – Blevins Band

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Cinco Style Alessi Bazaar fashions celebrate Mexican heritage and design. Styling by MEGAN TACKETT; Photography by MARIA PERKINS/ Scrappy Doodles Photo and Design

Marissa strums a decorated guitar outside the Casa de la Cultura while wearing a blue embroidered dress and a red floral headpiece.

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Lizbeth sits in the Brown Plaza gazebo while wearing a red midi skirt and a cold shoulder loteria tee.

Mariela, Lizbeth and Marissa smile in Alessi Bazaar apparel and accessories.

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Mariela sits outside the Casa rose garden in an embroidered denim top, a burgundy belt and a yellow midi skirt.

Mariela, Marissa and Lizbeth hang out in the Brown Plaza gazebo in embroidered, festive apparel.

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Lizbeth strolls through the rose garden and accessorizes a white embroidered dress with a colorful, detailed handbag.

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Lizbeth wears dangling gold earrings and a La Chalupa loteria cold shoulder tee.

Mariela wears a turquoise embroidered poncho and pink tassel earrings in the placita.

Marissa holds rose from the Casa garden in a black dress embroidered with pink detailing while wearing silver danging earrings.

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Fashions provided by Alessi Bazaar, located at 2008 Veterans Blvd. Ste. B. Special thanks to our models, Marissa Flores, Lizbeth Longoria and Mariela Gonzalez.

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Wave your spirit with this miniature Mexican flag from Alessi Bazaar.

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Wear your pride on your lapel with this Viva Mexico pin from Alessi Bazaar.

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Dress up your wrists with this colorful, versatile bracelet from Buffalo Girls.

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The Del Rio community offers an amazing assortment of festive Mexican-inspired accessories. Find these earrings at Buffalo Girls.

Don’t forget to dress the little ones for the Cinco celebrations. Grab this outfit at Alessi Bazaar.


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CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL

Dora Alcala Story and photos by MEGAN TACKETT

Fashion Philosophy Fashion identifies you. When you dress up, you’re going to carry yourself better. When you look good, you feel good. It does something for your personality. Fashion Evolution I went to Catholic school all my life. I didn’t really have a style. I had only worn uniforms. My good friend Hope Garcia, who I met in San Antonio, told me you always want to look classy. You don’t want to have a lot of frills and a lot of ruffles. That’s not going to show you off. My style is classic and simple. Not frilly. Not too loud. Progressive pantsuits When I was working at Laughlin, the commander sent a letter out telling us that women are allowed to wear pant suits, because at that time they did not allow us to wear pants to work. I wanted to be the first to wear pantsuits. My first pantsuit was a slate blue. My favorite style pantsuit is a very nice, subtle pinstripe. I wore a lot of those when I worked at the Pentagon. Guaranteed style Otila’s Gonzalez’s sister, Francis, worked at The Guarantee for years and she was an impeccable dresser. She was always dressed to the nines and she was always thinking about me. I learned a lot from her. She would select things from me. If something nice came in she would call my husband and tell him to come get it for me.

Editor’s note: Between her charismatic character and her energetic wardrobe, Dora Alcala stands out in a crowd. Her style indicates a lifetime of personal and professional accomplishments. Before she became the first (and at this point, only) female mayor of Del Rio, Dora worked at the Pentagon as Air Force’s director for equal opportunity and although she’s retired, she currently serves as the president for the International Good Neighbor Council, the secretary for the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Del Rio International Bridge Board. And with a full plate, she still manages to look sharp, classic and a little creative every day. 36

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Dressing like a mayor I felt I had to look professional every single day. I knew I would be in the public eye so I just dressed like I was going to work. It was easy. I enjoy it because I love to dress up. Favorite brands Right now I love Chicos because you can mix and match your outfits. They’re very classic, very comfortable and they travel well. I also really like Anne Klein. Anne Klein is very classic. Save vs Spend My two favorite stores are Marshalls and Ross. If I’m in the city I’ll go to Nordstrom Rack. They have Jones New York and other brands I like. I’ll splurge on good shoes and a nice leather bag.


“Fashion identifies you. When you dress up, you’re going to carry yourself better. When you look good, you feel good.”

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1) This is very important. This was our logo when I was mayor and I always wore this pin. It had been our logo forever.

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2) This is a water snake purse. We were passing by a store in San Francisco and I saw it in the window and they were having a sale. It was expensive but Alfonso, my husband, went in and bought it for me. 3) I went to a gem show in Maryland and there was a $30,000 bracelet that I fell in love with but didn’t buy. One day I was at a flea market and I found this for $5 and it looked just like it. 4) Whenever I feel like I need a little protection, I wear this. These are all the guardian angels. This bracelet was made by children from an orphanage in Monterrey, Mexico. 5) I call them my Dorothy shoes. I wear a lot of red. They’re really comfortable. I have a lot of fun with them.

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6) When I took office people were ready for a change. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work full time. I was in the office every single day.

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7) Everywhere I travel I try to look for a special piece of jewelry. I bought these blue diamond Effy earrings on a cruise on the Panama Canal. 8) I love watches. My very best friend, Otila, gave me this Elgin watch for my birthday. I treasure it. 9) I bought this necklace on the same Panama trip. I had to buy a Colombian emerald. 10) My sister got me this. It’s my latest purse. I love this purse and it goes with everything.

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11) This is a replica of Princess Grace Kelly’s bag. I found it in Florence, Italy and I just had to have it. 12) My husband got me this star sapphire ring when he was in the Air Force. He was stationed in the Philippines and had them sent to me. 13) My good friend, Laura Langton, went to Florida and she bought me these. I’ve really enjoyed them. 14) This was one of the first Women of Distinction awards that Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce gave out. It’s a beautiful award.

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Keeping the Past Alive:

Rose Mary Whitehead Jones Woman’s passion for history leads to museum founding Story by KAREN GLEASON

T

he late Rose Mary Whitehead Jones loved and honored the past, and because of this, she could also see into the future. The best-known portrait of her, taken when she was no longer young, shows her jauntily wearing a big black Stetson over her white hair, her severe black sweater brought riotously alive by a large necklace of boar’s tusks, chunky wooden beads, silver conchos and hunks of turquoise, and a wide golden cuff bracelet on her arm. The photo is the first one sees when opening “The Spirit of Val Verde,” a book of local history, family stories and photographs published by the late Diana Sotelo Zertuche on the occasion of the Texas Sesquicentennial celebration in 1986. In her dedication of “The Spirit of Val Verde,” Zertuche wrote, “Life is meaningless unless one is able to share ideas, dreams and plans that will contribute to the growth of self, our family and our community. It is for this reason that ‘The Spirit of Val Verde’ is dedicated to one great rose of Val Verde County – Rosie Whitehead Jones. “She is the true example of what sharing, giving and loving is all about. This county has benefitted greatly by her assertiveness and her great dedication to preserve the heritage of all the people of this county,” Zertuche wrote. Zertuche, who herself became a great preserver and defender of the county and city’s long and fascinating history, said that for years before setting off to compile much of the county’s history in book form, she admired Jones. “As a young person, I would read about all the great contributions and activities that were initiated by Della Whitehead and (her daughter) Rosie Jones. I always wanted to grow up to be just like Rosie, and I made every effort to keep up with what she did . . . For as long as this book will live, so will the memory and spirit of this great lady live. She truly portrays the spirit of Val Verde County,” Zertuche said. The “Spirit of Val Verde” also contains a write-up of Jones’ life. Though the author of the biography is not listed, it is likely that Zertuche wrote the piece. Jones’ great-grandfather, George Washington Whitehead, came to Val Verde County in 1882 with his wife and two sons, Walter E. and Will F., from Junction, Texas.

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Here they established “one of the largest sheep and goat ranches in Southwest Texas,” Zertuche wrote. Jones is the daughter of Walter E. Whitehead and Mary Belle Martin’s son Willie B. Whitehead and his wife Della Rose Halbert. Jones recalled in the story she told Zertuche that her Grandfather Whitehead brought the first ballot box to Del Rio after Val Verde County was established in 1885 and sat on the first jury empaneled in the newly fledged county. Jones said her Grandfather Halbert was once known as “the Goat King of Texas” for his breeding of Angora goats and was one of the founders of the Sheep & Goat Raisers Association of Texas and served as its second president. “Della Rose Halbert and Willie B. Whitehead were married on Dec. 22, 1923, and came to live on the Whitehead Ranch in Val Verde County, 70 miles north of Del Rio on the Sonora highway (U.S. 277),” Zertuche wrote. Della’s children, Rosie, Bill and W.E. Whitehead II were all born in San Angelo, but were raised on the ranch. Jones recalled to Zertuche that she was educated by tutors on the ranch, but that her family rented a house in Del Rio when it was time for her to start the seventh grade. Jones later went to boarding schools in San Antonio and Dallas, but when World War II broke out, she left school and returned to help her father run the ranch. “Her father had a visual problem. Bill was studying at UT Austin, and all but one of the ranch hands had gone off to the war, so Rosie ran the ranch with his help. (Rosie said,)‘I have wished many times that I had been able to continue my education, but at the time, that was the only thing I could do. My dad needed me,’” Zertuche wrote. A relative introduced Rose Mary to John McKinley Jones Jr., who was stationed with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso, and she and Jones were married in 1943. Jones was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945 and the Joneses lived briefly in San Angelo before moving to Del Rio. The Jones’ oldest child, daughter Candyce Jones Garrett, was born in San Angelo, but came to Del Rio when she was a year old and grew up here with her brother, John McKinley Jones III.


This iconic portrait of the late Rose Mary Whitehead Jones is the first portrait included in a book of Val Verde County history, “The Spirit of Val Verde,� published by Del Rio businesswoman and civic leader Diana Sotelo Zertuche in 1985. The photo was taken by Warren Studio in Del Rio and used here with permission from Warren Studio owner, photographer Rosantina Calvetti.

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Photo from “The Spirit of Val Verde” Rose Mary Whitehead Jones, right, and her mother, Della Halbert Whitehead, at a meeting of the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association in 1959.

Photo contributed by Candyce Jones Garrett Rose Mary Whitehead Jones, left, and her cousin Bobby Lou Whitehead Mayer, at another Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association meeting, date unknown.

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“I have the best memories in the world of growing up in Del Rio, Texas,” said Garrett, who lives and works as a granite sculptor in Taos, N.M. “It was fantastic, a small town where everybody knew everybody, and we all got along just great. It was a wonderful experience.” Garrett, who began her artistic journey as a carver of custom wooden signs and the owner of a successful sign shop in Ruidoso, N.M., said she remembers her mother “as always being very, very positive and encouraging.” “She really always conveyed to my brother and me that we could do whatever we wanted to do, and I thought that was pretty cool,” Garrett said in a recent telephone interview from her New Mexico studio. Garrett said she fell in love with art at her mother’s knee. “When I was 7, 8, 9, I would take painting lessons at the library every Saturday, and then at the ranch, I went to take painting classes in El Dorado. She always encouraged me. Mother had a little room in the house that was her studio, and she painted in pastels and did some ink drawings on leather. “She was definitely an artist, and she was always full of great ideas and so was my grandmother. Mother was always working on some project with my grandmother,” Garrett recalled. One of those projects was the founding of the Whitehead Memorial Museum, Garrett said. “Starting the museum, my mother worked on that day and night. She was always very civicminded. She was always doing things for the community and getting things done for the people in the community. She loved Del Rio and was always interested in promoting Del Rio and its people,” Garrett said. Garrett recalled her mother was a dynamo, especially when she took on a project she was passionate about. “She was very dynamic. She was very driven to put Del Rio on the map. She wanted Del Rio to be recognized for the beautiful community it is, and she used her own time and money to do that and did not expect anything in return. “Mother had a quote: ‘Just back your ears and do it,’ and I’m visualizing a donkey or a horse, and she didn’t just say it once, she said it a thousand times, and it was her philosophy. There was no stopping her once she decided to do something,” Garrett said. Jones’ hard work and perseverance birthed the museum that today still bears her name, and her life, as Garrett pointed out, stands as an example that we should follow our dreams with passion and persistence and so create, as Jones did, a future informed by the best of the past. •


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Iconic Del Rio educator Irene Cardenas Cardwell taught in local public schools for more than 30 years, starting her career as an elementary school teacher, then moving on to be a school principal. This portrait from her teaching days hangs in the office of the school that now bears her name, the Irene Cardwell Elementary School.

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Teach My Children

Irene Cardwell Iconic educator touches the lives of hundreds Story By BRIAN ARGABRIGHT; Photos courtesy of the Irene Cardwell Head Start School

T

en years ago Del Rio lost a part of its education foundation, a woman whose legacy in this community continues to

this day. To call the late Irene Cardenas Cardwell simply “a former educator,” would be a disservice to the work she put in as a teacher, administrator and civic leader in this community. Cardwell knew the importance of being active in one’s community, no matter the role. In a story published in the Del Rio News-Herald in 1984, Cardwell said, “I realized that the most important aspect of life was involvement, the essence of life itself, for once you get involved and see results, you get that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction which is most rewarding.” Born April 9, 1909, the second of nine children, Cardwell graduated from Del Rio High School in 1927 and later earned her teacher’s certificate as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine, now known as Sul Ross State University. Cardwell taught for more than three decades in the San Felipe ISD, serving as a first grade teacher. She transitioned to the administration side of the school when she became an elementary school principal, at the former Sam Houston and Travis elementary schools, holding that position

for the next 14 years. Her efforts did not go unnoticed by folks beyond the boundaries of Val Verde County. Cardwell served for three years as a presidential appointee to the National Advisory Council for the Education of Disadvantaged Children in Washington, D.C. She was named to the council by then-President Richard Nixon at the behest of Sen. John Tower of Texas. Cardwell’s legacy in helping disadvantaged youth was always a part of her education style. In the late 1950’s, she developed a program to help teach non-English students ages 6 and above during the summer so they would be better able to integrate themselves into regular classes once they began in the fall. It was something new for the San Felipe ISD, and Cardwell literally wrote the book on those teaching methods. Listing her many accolades could fill a magazine all on their own. Some of those awards included recognition by U.S. President Harry S. Truman in 1948 for her contributions to the Selective Service System, being named a Yellow Rose of Texas by Gov. Dolph Briscoe, being honored by Gov. Ann Richards for her ‘Services to the Texas Communities’, awarded the ‘Services to Disadvantaged Children’ by Nixon, named a ‘Nobel Woman ‘ by the Texas House of

“...once you get involved and see results, you get that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction which is most rewarding.”

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Representatives, and awarded the Archbishop Frances Furey Bronze Medal for her services to her church. Locally, Cardwell worked with a variety of civic-based and church-based organizations and councils including March of Dimes, Cancer Drive, United Fund, Val Verde County Tuberculosis Association, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Council, San Felipe Cemetery Association, Diamond Jubilee Committee, Boots & Bows Club, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 353, Val Verde Memorial Hospital Women’s Assembly, Val Verde County Library Board, Girl and Boy Scout Clubs, Civic Music Association, Old Folk Home and HAND Helping A Neighbor Directly. She organized HAND in 1972 to assist in building and remodeling the homes of the indigent in the community. Habitat for Humanity started in 1976. Her efforts to educate stretched from beyond the classroom. In 1962 she assisted the Val Verde County Library Board in the passage of the bond election for a new library building, and in 1960 she initiated and organized the first free citizenship classes as part of LULAC, assisting hundreds of legal aliens to become American citizens. She also helped organize voter drives and always emphasized the importance of making one’s voice heard.

Cardwell was also the foundation of a loving family she created with her husband of 59 years, Ernest Cardwell. The couple had four children – three sons and a daughter. They were also the proud grandparents to 10 grandchildren and more than a dozen greatgrandchildren. Cardwell’s advice to her children and grandchildren was simple, “To have pride in their profession, whatever it may be; not to be satisfied with the minimum but to strive to be number one; and to look up into the sky and find the highest and brightest star, hitch your wagon to it and you will find success.” Her lasting legacy in this community is the school that bears her name – Irene C. Cardwell Elementary. It’s home to the San Felipe Del Rio CISD’s Head Start Program, which is designed to aid youth, up to the age of five, and from low-income families with early childhood education, health and nutrition. The school was initially located in South Del Rio at what was originally known as Travis Elementary School, but it was renamed in Cardwell’s honor her 90th birthday – April 9, 1999. When flooding and overcrowding issues hampered that school, the district made the decision to relocate the program to the former East Side Elementary, which was also rechristened in Cardwell’s honor beginning with the 2011-12 school year. •

“...look up into the sky and find the highest and brightest star, hitch your wagon to it and you will find success.”

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Another portrait of Irene Cardwell from the Cardwell School. This one shows her following her “retirement� from the school district. Cardwell was more than a teacher and remained active as a member of many local civic organizations. She encouraged others to make their voices heard and received many state and national awards.

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A GRANDE LIFE

Yvonne Adams Story and photo by KAREN GLEASON

Y

vonne Adams says she can’t imagine doing anything else. Adams is a registered nurse assigned to the labor and delivery unit of the Women’s Health Center at Val Verde Regional Medical Center. It is work she has done for 23 years. “It’s very fun. We get to bring new babies into the world. It’s exciting to see the moms see their babies for the first time. We get to see lots of bonding, and we encourage that, and we try to help them out as much as we can,” Adams said. “The majority of our new moms are real receptive, and a lot of them are also scared. It’s only natural. We get them admitted, and sometimes they come in in active labor, fullblown labor, and we don’t have very much time to talk to them and coach them, because it’s going so fast, but sometimes they stay here overnight, waiting to go into labor, so we get to talk with them and teach them a little bit more,” she said. Adams is a native Del Rioan who attended local schools. She said she has wanted to be a nurse since a visit to the hospital nursery when she was a second-grader. “I came to the hospital, to see one of my mom’s friends have a baby, and I saw the nursery, and that was it,” Adams said. Adams and her husband Armando Adams have three children: Adrian, nearly 25; Anyssa, 18; and Austin, 14. Adams said being a mother has enriched and informed her work as a nurse to new mothers and their babies. “A lot of new moms are really nervous about breastfeeding. I have experience nursing my own children, so I can bring that hands-on knowledge to the moms here, plus I’ve had three kids, and they were born naturally, so if some of our moms want to have their children the natural way, we have a lot of empathy with them,” Adams said. Adams said the most difficult part of her job is helping mothers who come in and who are having a problem pregnancy: high blood pressure, diabetes, women who have had a previous miscarriage. “What’s hard is going from that room to another room where there are really happy times going on. There are also fearful moms, afraid of the unknown, tearful moms, young moms. They make me think of my own children, and I find myself wanting to be a mom to them, too,” she said. “You just try to embrace them and take them into your open arms. That way they can trust you, because that is something that has to be there, is that level of trust,” Adams said. Adams said she has never for a moment considered another line of work and said she hopes to keep working as a nurse for her entire career. “I don’t know what I’m trying to prove,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve worked the night shift for 23 years, and only night shift, 7 to 7, 12-hour shifts, three or four days a week, and I still love it. I’ve never gotten tired of it.” “Nursing is a wonderful profession, and we are in dire need of nurses nationwide. I talk to the community, to some of my friends and their children, who are going off to college, and are thinking about certain professions, and I tell them that there is a nursing shortage, and it’s getting more difficult because patients are becoming more and more complex,” Adams said. •

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STRONGER TOGETHER Casa de la Cultura’s 32nd International Women’s Conference Story and photos by KAREN GLEASON

Kelsey Chantry listens to a speaker at the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura.

Lorena Cassio listens to another woman share experiences relating to body image after Cassio spoke to the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura on the issue of learning a positive body image.

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n this morning in late March, the inside of the Casa De La Cultura is redolent with the rich scent of food being prepared in its small kitchen and buzzing with the sounds of women talking and laughing. It’s the start of the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa, and the Casa’s executive director, Lupita De La Paz, begins shepherding the chatting groups toward seats along tables set up in the Casa’s main meeting room. The easy humor of those attending the event belies the serious and difficult nature of the ensuing discussions: During the first segment, Del Rioan Destiny Sportsman, a beautiful, engaging young woman, talks frankly about her long struggle with depression. Other topics included immigration, mental health and body image. At the beginning of each segment, a speaker addressed the group, giving her perspective from personal involvement in each issue. Following the talk, those sitting at each of the long tables met in small groups to share their own thoughts and feelings about the topic. The groups then developed resolutions dealing with each of the issues and were served a healthy, delicious meal. •


Participating in a round-table discussion on immigration during the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura are, from left, Tiffany Jones, moderator Darlene Quintero, Lydia Rosales and Rachel Abrego Ortiz. The discussion was one of four topics discussed by men and women attending the conference.

Diana Abrego, one of the founders of Casa De La Cultura/El Comite Cultural Del Pueblo, welcomes the men and women attending the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura on March 31. Abrego spoke about the history of the conference.

Haydee Gonzalez leads a round-table discussion on giving a voice to the survivors of sexual assault at the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference. Gonzalez, the president of the Casa’s board of directors, shared her own story of childhood assault and urged other women to speak out about their own stories.

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Casa De La Cultura/ El Comite Cultural Del Pueblo founder Diana Abrego, center, in pink shirt, leads a round-table discussion on immigration issues.

Monica Puente, who works at the Casa De La Cultura, serves as a moderator for a discussion group during the annual international women’s conference at the Casa on March 31.

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Destiny Sportsman, one of the speakers at the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura. Sportsman spoke about her ongoing battle with depression.


Maria DePugh participates in a round-table discussion during the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura.

Spaghetti squash “spaghetti” and a ground turkey, mushroom and tomato sauce were served as a delicious, healthy afternoon lunch to those attending the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura.

Maria Rivera takes notes as she listens to one of four speakers during the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference at the Casa De La Cultura.

Joaquin Abrego, son of Casa De La Cultura/El Comite Cultural Del Pueblo founder Diana Abrego, and a member of Universidad Sin Fronteras in San Antonio, prepares a ground turkey-based spaghetti sauce as part of a “decolonialized diet” he presented to those attending the 32nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference. GRANDE / MAY 2018

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Last Look Hello readers!

Thank you for picking up our May edition of Grande. This month, we mixed the celebration of womanhood and Cinco de Mayo to create a festive, empowering experience for our readers. For our cover concept, we decided to revisit the May 2017 issue, when we recreated feminist icon Rosie the Riveter to represent the edition’s theme. This year we chose to recreate La Adelita, who satisfies our ideas to explore Mexican traditions while honoring strong women for Mother’s Day. I was pleasantly surprised when a local woman reached out to me with her story about becoming a new mom and the emotional struggle she endured after birth. Her courage to share her story was overwhelming and awe-inspiring. I was happy to reassure women through Vanessa that postpartum depression is common, treatable and nothing that they should feel shame about. I also had the opportunity to interview Dora Alcala, one of my most favorite people I’ve met in Del Rio. Her chattiness and never-ending energy reminds me so much of my own grandmother, minus about seven inches in height. I had a blast going through her wardrobe while she recalled the memories behind each piece. In addition to Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, don’t forget to take time this month to celebrate a lesser-known, but equally important national holiday, Ocho de Megan-O (My birthday). I’m sure they’ll be a mayoral proclamation or parade or something. Thanks again for taking the time to read this issue. See you next month! Megan Tackett Creative Director 54

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• Vanessa Anguiano’s cat, Junior, demanded his time in front of the camera. • Scrappy Doodles photographer Maria Perkins shows Lizbeth Longoria how modeling is done. • Roses were in bloom during our fashion shoot at the Casa de la Cultura. • Megan styles Mariela Gonzalez with Alessi Bazaar pieces for the fashion shoot.


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