Many Latinos in Texas can trace their history back to the 1690s. They are descendants of Spanish, Mexican and indigenous people who were here when the land was part of Mexico, later the Republic of Texas and finally part of the US. They don’t consider themselves either Mexican or Anglo Texans. They’re Tejanos, and proud of it.

A group called Preservation Austin has created a 6-mile series of walking tours through Austin that highlight the city’s Tejano history. They criss-cross the historically Latino—and rapidly gentrifying—neighborhood of East Austin.

In this piece, KUT reporter Veronica Zaragovia takes us on a tour of Austin’s Tejano Trails. Below, you can find photographs of some of the people she met along the way.


Johnny Degollado, Tejano music legend, plays his accordion at the outdoor venue named in his honor – the Johnny Degollado Pavillion at Fiesta Gardens.


Diana Herrera Castañeda outside the 1930s-era wooden home that belonged to her grandmother, part of the early wave of working-class Latinos who settled in the neighborhood.


Former East Austin resident Richard Moya in the halls of Zavala Elementary School, where he was once a student. Zavala was built in 1936 especially for the neighborhood’s Latino children.

 Photos courtesy of Veronica Zaragovia. 

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