Hispanic Heritage Month: How to Celebrate in Waco!

By Kennedy Sam

Each year during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), we as a nation recognize and celebrate the cultural contributions of the almost 59 million Hispanic Americans in the United States. This is a special time for many Latin American communities as they celebrate their independence. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile and Belize all gained their independence during this time frame. This is the perfect opportunity to join in on the celebration honoring Hispanic heritage, culture and influence!

One of our latest episodes of Conversations with Creative Waco featured local leaders Alfred Solano, President/CEO of the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Arts Organizer Monica Shannon talking about the importance of Hispanic Culture in Waco. ( Catch up on the episode. )  Inspired by those conversations, and in honor of the month-long celebration, we’ve put together a list of six ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage in our community:

Six Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Culture

1. Mexican Independence Day Parade

Sunday, Sept. 22 from 1-2 p.m. on Austin Avenue

The Waco Hispanic Museum is celebrating Hispanic culture with its first parade. The parade will run on Austin Ave. from 9th to 3rd street. If you would like to get involved and participate, please contact Louis Garcia at 254-548-9730.

2.  Fiestas Patrias 2019!

Sunday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Extraco Events Center

Fiestas Patrias is a FREE event celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day. This family-friendly event features live music, food and drinks, moon-walks, and more fun for the whole family!

3. Jacob de Cordova: “Father of Waco” Fall Lecture with Vann de Cordova

Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum

Learn more about Waco’s diverse history from David Vann de Cordova, the third great-grandson of Waco’s founder Jacob de Cordova. Through the retelling of his life, David Vann de Cordova recalls Jacob’s legacy and his amazing exploration in Texas.

Discover how Jacob’s unique background — a Jewish, Jamaican-born Spaniard — has continued to impact our city throughout generations. This FREE lecture is hosted by The Historic Waco Foundation, in collaboration with the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, McLennan County Historical Commission, and Texas Fine Artists.

Also, you can find a timeline of Jacob de Cordova’s “Waco Adventure” on display on Waco Transit’s fleet of buses during this month-long celebration!

4. Hispanic Heritage and Arts Celebration

Friday, Sept. 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Art Forum of Waco

“Freida Kahlo: Fountain of Inspiration. Photo by Art Forum of Waco.”

Celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture through art! This free event at the Art Forum of Waco will feature original pieces by over 33 local artists highlighting or inspired by Hispanic heritage. Enjoy live music, art, and an award presentation ceremony sponsored by Allen Samuel’s DCJ! Hosted by the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texas Fine Artists, join the festivities at the Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Art Show and Celebration.

The Art Forum of Waco also serves as a Hispanic arts cultural hub. The gallery often features exhibits honoring influential Hispanic artists like Frida Kahlo and holidays like Día de los Muertos. Stay up to date with the gallery’s events here!

5. Dia del Charro

Sunday, Oct. 6 from 12-8:30 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church is hosting their Annual Dia del Charro Festival on the church patio grounds.

This celebration is one of the biggest Charro Day Festival in Central Texas. Come out and enjoy food, games, live music, Charreria and Horse Show, and Ballet Folklorico. This is a family friendly event honoring cultures from various Mexican Regions.

6. Support Local Artists and Businesses

Last but not least, one of the best ways to celebrate is by supporting local artists and businesses. Many of our entrepreneurs were inspired by their heritage and culture when they created their products. When you support their craft and buy local you are helping to bring our community together and boosting our local economy. This is an awesome way to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture year-round!

Kennedy Sam is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Creative Waco, McLennan County’s arts agency. As a longtime Waco resident, upon receiving her degree from Louisiana State University was excited to return to her hometown to begin her career serving the community she loves. In her spare time, she enjoys rediscovering all that Waco has to offer and exploring the many walking trails with her pup Bleu. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Attention Entrepreneurs! Baylor Community Entrepreneurship Program offers Eight Sessions of Business Fundamentals for $40

By Shaun Limbers

Baylor University, nestled on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco, is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution.  Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas, and in fact, is older than the State of Texas itself.  In 1977, Baylor became one of the first universities in the nation to create a Center for Entrepreneurship.   Within the highly ranked Hankamer School of Business, the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise (the “Baugh Center”) is the focal point for entrepreneurial development at Baylor.  At its core, the purpose of the Baugh Center is to develop entrepreneurs outside the walls of the Baylor classroom and help catalyze and grow business ventures.

Baylor’s mission is to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.  Since its founding over 174 years ago, Baylor has continually maintained a tradition of extending its mission outside the halls of academia into the local community.  As an active participant in the Waco small business community, Baylor and the Baugh Center observed a need for business and entrepreneurship training, particularly among small businesses that exhibit potential but that may lack fundamental business knowledge to achieve that potential. 

The Baylor Community Entrepreneurship Program (the “Baylor C.E.P.”) is a faith-based community business and entrepreneurship training program created for small businesses, hosted by local churches or community centers, and facilitated by local successful entrepreneurs and executives.  Each Baylor C.E.P. course is comprised of a total of 8 sessions held weekly at local community churches or community centers, with each session running for 2 hours.  The Baugh Center provides the Baylor C.E.P. with best-in-class business and entrepreneurship content developed by some of the brightest minds in business.  Unique to the Baylor C.E.P., best-in-class business and entrepreneurship content is delivered in an environment that is openly faith-based, welcoming small business participants from all faith backgrounds to learn in a caring, faith-based environment, with an emphasis placed on business excellence achieved through ethical business morals and execution.  While core program content makes the Baylor C.E.P. unique, so too does its format insomuch as it relies less on traditional classroom lecturing and instead focuses on business fundamentals delivered through engaging core content provided in conjunction with interactive classroom exercises, peer problem solving discussions, real world case studies with facilitator explanations, and Baylor student collaborations – all facilitated by successful entrepreneurs and executives.  This unique format is designed to achieve maximum impact, particularly with small businesses who thrive in this type of learning environment. 

In addition to core business fundamentals and training, the Baylor C.E.P. is also designed to architect a network of additional business and entrepreneurship resources available to small business participants.  This network of additional business and entrepreneurship resources include, among other items, QuickBooks accounting training and access provided in partnership with Intuit (a $1,000 value), opportunities to be matched with mentors and business leaders in the community, funding and loan assistance for small businesses, as well as networking opportunities. 

Two Baylor C.E.P. courses were successfully conducted in Spring 2019 with large community churches based in Waco.  A Baylor C.E.P. course will be offered at Highland Baptist Church in Waco beginning on September 23, 2019 and will be comprised of 8 sessions, with each session held on Monday nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Highland Baptist Church campus.   While the Baylor C.E.P. provides thousands of dollars in value to small business participants, the cost is only $40.   

The goal of the Baylor C.E.P. is to empower small business participants with the opportunity to achieve economic transformation, rooted in faith-based business and entrepreneurship.  That economic transformation in turn provides small business participants with the opportunity to positively impact and transform the lives of their own families, friends, churches, and communities – representing a catalyst for the Waco community at large.    For participants of the Baylor C.E.P., it’s an opportunity to empower themselves with business fundamentals and resources designed to help them achieve their goals.  “Taking the CEP class was one of the best decisions I have made as a small business owner,” says Tonja Carpenter, owner and founder of a local small business specializing in caring for expecting and new mothers. 

The next Baylor C.E.P. course will begin on September 23, 2019, and will be hosted by Highland Baptist Church.  Enrollment is currently underway and is open to small business owners and their employees.  Scholarships are available for those who are unable to meet the $40 enrollment fee.  For more information and to enroll, please email Cathy-Sones@highlandbc.org or send “TEXT” to Arnold Reyes at (214) 476-5456. 

Shaun Limbers currently serves as Program Manager for the Baylor Community Entrepreneurship Program, having recently relocated to Waco with his wife and children from Scottsdale, Arizona.  Shaun’s career has spanned numerous facets of private venture finance and investment, with an emphasis in private equity.  Shaun can be reached at Shaun_Limbers@Baylor.edu

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.