SAN MARCOS, Texas — New developments are coming to some of San Marcos' most historic neighborhoods. The latest additions such as college apartment complexes have people living in the area worried about preserving the history and culture within the city.
In June, a letter was written to San Marcos City Council by the Indigenous Cultures Institutes stating their support for the creation of a Mexican American and Indigenous Heritage and Culture district.
“The first Mexican American and Indigenous families of San Marcos established those neighborhoods,” Bobbie Garza-Hernandez, who is part of the Indigenous Cultures Institutes and a native to San Marcos, said.
The neighborhoods are also referred to as barrios. The area started with El Barrio del Jorobado and expanded to include: El Barrio de la Nalga Pelona, El Barrio de la Victoria, and El Barrio del Pescado.
Garza says the letter to City Council is asking for the creation of a heritage district, not historical, meaning renovations and upgrades to homes in the neighborhoods could still be made.
The older historic buildings would be preserved and recognized within the city’s first four barrios, a region she feels is slowly becoming gentrified.
In the early 1900s, several early Mexican families began to purchase property near downtown San Marcos. Over the last several decades, San Marcos has implemented an urban renewal project. It bought out homes and properties from the majorly Mexican American residents residing in the barrios. Rio Vista Park and the baseball complex are two of the recent major developments that have changed the landscape of what was established in the early 1900s.
The letter to San Marcos City Council stated "families have lost homes, livelihoods and histories as a result of this development and some of those original residents now have seventh generations still residing there."
Spectrum News 1 reached out to San Marcos City Council, but according to city policy they do not make comments on items that are pending Council action.
The letters to San Marcos City Council can be found below: