Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

Courtesy ZaaZaa Productions

Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan explores a beautiful story, of family, folklore and a fascinating legacy

The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center features an interesting performer this weekend. It’s Azul Barrientos. Barrientos has a haunting, evocative voice. A voice that seems steeped in culture.

Ron Wade

She may be the most famous San Antonian you’ve never heard of. She’s Rita Vidaurri, an international singing star who was raised on the West Side of San Antonio and was a huge deal south of the border back in the 40s and 50s.

"I went to Cuba, sang with Nat King Cole. From Cuba I went to Costa Rica, Panama, all over Colombia," she said.

Vidaurri also sang on Mexico City’s radio XEW, and in nightclubs all over the country, with essentially all of the big names of the era.

Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

A new exhibit opens Friday combining art and fossil fuel extraction called Frackaso. The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center’s Marisol Cortez explained how it was named.

“In English it’s a play on fracas: a mess, a fracas. And in Spanish fracaso means an utter and abject failure,” Cortez said.

And then there’s fracking, which is the third and strongest meaning of this art show. The Esperanza sent out the word they wanted to do an exhibit with hydraulic fracturing as its muse, and people responded.   

Trinity University

It’s a music and arts event which has ties to something that happened long ago and far away. Chile’s Salvador Allende was overthrown in coup forty years ago. The Allende period, and its aftermath, has been marked with an unusual metric.

"There was a real soundtrack that went along with the rise of the Allende government," said Trinity University’s David Spener. "And its fall due to the military overthrow, and the long dictatorship that followed it. And that soundtrack was known as la nueva canción, the Chilean new song.”

Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

Black Friday is approaching, but there's another holiday shopping alternative you might want to explore.

"Consumers can come to the Peace Market to buy handmade goods with fair trade practices, and also themes of peace and justice," said Esperanza Peace and Justice Center staff member Itza Carbajal, talking about the center's Mercado de Paz.

"For the Peace Market we have vendors occupying both the first story and the second story and our parking lot, and we also close off a street called Evergreen," Carbajal said.