We offer the following 4 distinct Hispanic tours.
- Tour A � 3rd and 6th Wards, West End, Houston Heights, and Woodland Heights
- Tour B � The East End, 2nd Ward, Broadmoor, Eastwood, Idylwood, Magnolia Park, Country Club Estates, Lawndale, and Harrisburg
- Tour C � Communication
- Tour D � North Side, 5th Ward, Woodland Heights, Stude, Aldine area, and Beyond - 9 AM to 3 PM
Each of these tours is 6 hours. They normally begin at 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM. However, we can be flexible with the scheduling. We try to schedule such tours between the rush hours. Tours can be shortened upon request; remember one has to delete sites with a shortened tour.
These tours begin at the Visitors Center at City Hall at 901 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002. If you have a GPS and are looking for parking, you can enter 510 Rusk Street, Houston, Texas 77002 and park at Theater Parking #2 in the underground lot beneath Tranquility Park. Parking rates vary from weekdays to weekends. Street parking is free on Sunday.
Hispanic history tours take you to the oldest Hispanic serving church in Houston dating to 1912, the oldest church that serves Hispanics that was built in 1901, but only began serving Hispanics after World War II, and several other churches. Tours include cemeteries, a former Hispanic shopping mall, Latin American owned and operated businesses, inspirational murals, traditional Hispanic high schools and middle schools, and see community centers.
The 3rd Ward is an area south of Congress Street and east of Main Street. Second Ward is north of Congress Street and east of Main Street. Sixth Ward is an area that is largely between Buffalo Bayou and Washington Avenue, west of I-45 and extending to Studemont Street. The West End is bounded by Washington Avenue on the south and I-10 on the north, Durham Drive to the west and Yale Street to the east. We also go to the area immediately to the west of the West End. Houston Heights is largely between Washington Avenue on the south and I-610 on the north and between Studemont Street on the east and Yale Street on the west. Woodland Heights is between Studemont Street on the west, I-45 on the west, I-10 on the south and Pecore Street on the north. The Sixth Ward, West End, Houston Heights, and Woodland Heights areas largely became Hispanic communities in the 1950s through the 1970s when White flight led the older populations to move to fringe areas of Houston and to new suburbs. The growing Hispanic population on the east side of Houston began moving into bigger and better built homes in established neighborhoods. The sites include historic schools including John Reagan High School, Alexander Hamilton Middle School, James Hogg Middle School, Harvard Elementary School, Helms Elementary School, Crockett Elementary School, Love Elementary School, and Travis Elementary School. Esperanza, a day care center and formerly the Ben Milam Elementary School, is included. We will see parks including Milroy Park, Donovan Park, Heights Boulevard Park, Love Park, Marmion Park, Woodland Park, White Oak Park, and Stude Park. We will stop by St. Stephens Church. This is a church that Hispanics had to build when Whites would not welcome them in other Catholic churches. We normally stop to tour the 2008 Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, the 1901 St. Joseph’s Church (where on Sunday a mariachi service is held at 12:30 PM, and the Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), built in 1912 as the Dow Elementary School, and Casa Ramirez (a folk art gallery and import store that is closed on Monday). Some of the folk art we see will includes a soda can statue of the Virgin Mary with Elvis, the 1985 mural of "Our United Community," an art cow, a wooden vaquero, and metal mariachi players. The Heights and 6th Ward have the best collections of Victorian homes with patios, porches, verandas, and balconies in Houston. Lunch is normally at one of the Hispanic restaurants along Washington Avenue.
Tour B � The East End, 2nd Ward, Broadmoor, Eastwood, Idylwood, Magnolia Park, Country Club Estates, Lawndale, and Harrisburg
The East End is a broad term that encompasses many neighborhoods such as Eado (East Downtown), Magnolia Park, Eastwood, Broadmoor, Lawndale, Idylwood, Houston Country Club Estates, Forest Hill, Mason Park, Pecan Park, and Harrisburg. It is located between the east side of downtown to the Port of Houston. Some people consider it as extending to Hobby Airport; others consider it be north of I-45 and I-610. It is south of Buffalo Bayou. Second Ward is north of Congress Street and east of Main Street. Broadmoor is north of I-45, west from the train tracks, south of Harrisburg Boulevard, east from South Lockwood Drive. Eastwood is largely north of I-45, east of the train tracks, south of Lawndale Street and west of South Wayside Drive.
Idylwood is between South Wayside Drive on the west and Brays Bayou on the east, Lawndale Street on the north, and Sylvan Road on the south. Magnolia Park is north of Brays Bayou, and south and west of Buffalo Bayou, and east of railroad tracks. Country Club Estates is north of Lawndale Street, west of South Wayside Street, south of Jamail Drive, and east of Fair Oaks Boulevard. Harrisburg is south of Brays Bayou and east of Brady’s Island and the Houston Ship Channel.
The high schools included on this tour are Stephen F. Austin High School and Charles Milby High School. These are the historically first two integrated high schools of Houston with Hispanics and Whites attending together back in the 1960s. Middle Schools included on this tour include Stonewall Jackson, James Deady, and Thomas Edison. Some of the historic elementary schools included are Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary School, and Dora Lantrip (formerly Eastwood) Elementary School, and J. R. Harris (for whom Harris County is named) Elementary School. Parks included are Eastwood Park, Magnolia Park, Hidalgo (Mexican) Park, Mason Park, Milby Park, Ingrando (formerly Pecan) Park, and R. F. Bob Spurlock Park. Gus Wortham Golf Course is also on this tour.
Cemeteries on this tour include Evergreen from 1894, St. Vincent�s (the oldest Catholic cemetery) from 1852, and Forest Park at Lawndale from 1921/1922. Evergreen and Forest Park each have ninos� sections. We normally tour two of these cemeteries.
Churches and Catholic institutions of historical significance that we see are the 1910 Blessed Sacrament Church, the 1911 Immaculate Concepcion Catholic Church, the 1912 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the 1928 Villa de Matel Convent, and the 1951 Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. We normally tour one of the churches.
Other highlights of the tour include:
- Ripley House
- Talento Bilingua de Houston (TBH)
- Tejano Center for Community Concern
- LULAC Education Center
- La Brisa Ice Creamery
- The old city hall for Magnolia Park
Many Craftsman, Mission, Foursquare, and bungalows adorn the neighborhoods from the era from about 1910 to 1930. Lunch is normally at Don Carlos, Irma’s, Ninfa’s, or Brady's Landing
Tour television and radio stations and newspaper headquarters. These can include the local television stations for Univision, Telemundo, Estrella, Trinity Broadcasting Network, or others. Radio stations can include either AM or FM stations. Much turnover exists in radio stations. The call letters and types of radio stations frequently change. You might meet some personalities! From among the newspapers, we might visit Rumbo de Houston, La Voz de Houston, Que Onda! � Houston, La Subasta, Semana Houston, El Perico, La Neta, or another. Learn the missions, goals and responsibilities of the people behind the scenes and in front of microphones, cameras and computers who bring the public what they want. As Houston�s Hispanic population continues to grow, the number of Latino media outlets will grow. Usually, we tour 5 places, and drive by other locations. Lunch is at a Hispanic restaurant.
This tour includes Denver Harbor, Selena Park, the oldest Hispanic cemetery in Houston, Moody Park, Jefferson Davis High School, Marshall Middle School, the Pan American Ballroom, the Farmer's Market, mercados, and more.
If you wish, we can stop at a panaderia (bakery).