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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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McAllen
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Reflecting on McAllen’s Heritage, A Day at the Museum with Victor Escalon

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Victor Escalon, a Navy veteran himself, stands proudly with his family next to a rare photograph of César Chávez during his US Navy days, linking the tales of service and sacrifice that weave the fabric of McAllen's rich heritage. Photo By Roberto Hugo González
Victor Escalon, a Navy veteran himself, stands proudly with his family next to a rare photograph of César Chávez during his US Navy days, linking the tales of service and sacrifice that weave the fabric of McAllen’s rich heritage. Photo By Roberto Hugo González

Texas Border Business

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By Roberto Hugo González

McAllen, Texas, is a town that thrives on the rich tapestry of its history and its residents’ stories. Nestled within this town is the McAllen Heritage Center Museum of History & Culture, a haven that houses memories of the past. This month, the museum is showcasing a special exhibit titled “IN HIS OWN WORDS: THE LIFE AND WORK OF CÉSAR CHÁVEZ” – a tribute to the iconic Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist.

Victor Escalon, a McAllen resident that came 1976, decided to take a walk down memory lane and visit this exhibit. Together with his family, Victor reminisced about the growth of McAllen, from the time he moved in the second grade to the bustling town it is today.

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“It’s very beautiful, organized, and professional,” Victor noted, clearly moved by the presentation of McAllen’s history. He particularly mentioned the Nicki Row showcase and the gratitude he feels towards McAllen residents who have contributed immensely to the town’s reputation.

The exhibit’s spotlight on César Chávez serves as a moving reminder of the struggles and accomplishments of the Hispanic community over the past few decades. Victor expressed, “I’m here to learn and appreciate the challenges the Hispanic culture has faced over the years.”

Despite the rapid growth, McAllen retains its charm, reminiscent of a cozy small town. Victor conveyed his joy in being part of the community, stating, “It’s a small-town feel, but it’s growing fast. The Rio Grande Valley is a beautiful place, and I’m fortunate to be living here.”

When asked about a particular photo that resonates with him, Victor, a Navy veteran, expressed his admiration for a Navy photo of Mr. Chavez. The military background, representing dedication and service, deeply moved him. It serves as a testimony to the sacrifices made by people coming from McAllen.

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The McAllen Heritage Center Museum of History & Culture is proud to host a special exhibit from August 2 to August 31, 2023, showcasing the life and work of César Chávez, the remarkable Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist.

Concluding his visit, Victor left with a message of appreciation for the museum and the town of McAllen. “McAllen’s a great place. This museum’s a great place and has a very friendly environment.”

The McAllen Heritage Center Museum of History & Culture continues to be the light of culture and history. This month, let the story of César Chávez inspire you. As Victor’s experience shows, history is not just about the past – it shapes our present and paves the way for the future. 

Visit, learn, and be inspired.

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