The University of Texas-Pan American hosted the opening of the "Tamaulipas en Texas" cultural festival Monday, March 26 at the Student Union Theatre. Kicking off the opening ceremonies were dignitaries representing the state of Tamaulipas and Texas.
The goal of the free festival, which runs through Friday, is to bring the economy and culture of Tamaulipas to the Rio Grande Valley and develop a bond between the two regions.
"The University is very proud and honored to have the exhibits and the culture of Tamaulipas here," said Ed Vela, special projects coordinator for the UTPA Office of Center Operations and Community Services. "I think it will make students more aware of the culture and give them something to be proud of and look back at the importance the Hispanic community has played in the area."
Among the dignitaries at the festival inauguration was Robert Howden, director of communications for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Jorge Reyes Moreno, Tamaulipas secretary of economic development.
"We are neighbors trying to resolve our problems, and now we want to be your partners," Moreno said. "We feel this is a great opportunity for us to progress."
Also on hand were mayors Joe Ochoa of Edinburg and Leo Montalvo of McAllen, whose cities will host festival events, and chamber of commerce and economic development corporation representatives from Edinburg, McAllen, Mercedes and Pharr were also in attendance.
Representatives from Tamaulipas included Alfonso Salazar Arzola, the director of Tamaulipas International Affairs, and Fernando Mier y Teran, director of Tamaulipas Institute for Culture and Arts.
Exhibits of artwork and leather goods were on display during the opening ceremony. Musical conjuntos and a trio of musicians from the Tamaulipas area provided entertainment.
The festival features art and photography exhibits, along with lectures on anthropology, music, history and the business of Tamaulipas. Concerts, plays and folkloric dance performances will be held in various Valley locations.