Crossing borders of awareness by bringing awareness to the border
San Ygnacio, Texas
The River Pierce Foundation works to identify, conserve and make known the built vernacular and cultural heritage of the rural village of San Ygnacio, Texas, including the San Ygnacio Historic District (National Register of Historic Places 1973).
As protective stewards of this legacy, the Foundation contributes to an awareness of the Texas-Mexico borderlands, a landscape of farms, ranches, cities and towns that make up the Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. This region was named one of the nation’s most endangered historic sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Educational and training programs, residencies and special projects support the acquisition, preservation, and creative re-use of historic sites in San Ygnacio, with special emphasis on the early 19th century sandstone complex of the Treviño-Uribe Rancho. Sited on a bluff overlooking the Rio Grande, the Rancho begun in 1830 and designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park System in 1998. This fortified complex is one of the few remaining vestiges of Spanish Colonial and Mexican periods of historical development in the region.
The River Pierce Foundation welcomes the support of individual donors as well as regional, national and international organizations similarly devoted to cultural interpretation and historic preservation.
For more information on how to support the Foundation’s efforts, please contact us at (956) 756-5784.
Board of Directors
Charles Adams, President
Frank Rotnofsky, Vice-President
Don Mullins, Jr.
Gigi Rodriguez, Education Director of Heritage Camp
Mary Ross Taylor, Ex-Officio
Michael Tracy, Founder
Kathleen Guerrero is an educator born in Laredo, Texas. She graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, and has taught language arts, Social Studies, science for 30 years, retired since 2001. Her first insect net is 63 years old and hangs in the “bug room” displayed along with entomological specimens, bird nests, feathers, sands, seeds, leaves, sea life, mushrooms and lichen, and other natural specimens collected while traveling the U.S. and various countries in the world.Her involvement with The River Pierce Foundation is centered on leading summer and outdoor education camps, informed by her training at Region 16 Education Support Center, Amarillo; Panhandle Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists; and Math and Science Conferences. Guerrero remains current by attending advanced training programs, and undertaking extensive research developing new programs.
The Foundation feels it is imperative to explore the pre-settlement terrain as well as the pioneer technologies and cultures of peoples reflected in the vernacular of buildings. Currently, the Foundation is developing the following programs:
We urge a renewed commitment to the discovery of our ecology here on the border of Mexico and the United States.
We seek a vigorous response to callous behavior and respect for our people, our histories, the places we inhabit, and where and how we work and love.
We demand a future with real access to information, and a system of education that is predicated on the reasonable allocation and fostering of intellectual and financial resources.
We call for the definition of a natural environment not shaped by the agendas of politicians and financiers, and a creative conservation of the resources of that environment.
We intend to live in a place where the water is good to drink and the air is good to breathe. We want it to be possible that this place may be here and in our life time.
We offer enthusiastic support for the enhancement of life along the river corridor through the encouragement of cultural activities, including historic preservation, restoration, and where appropriate, creative engagement with historic sites.
We desire expressions of compassion and we advocate change and the practice of resurrection.
–The San Ygnacio Resolve, The River Pierce Foundation Board of Directors, April 16, 1995
INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
South Texas Phototaxis (2018)
To celebrate the 4th of July 2018, The River Pierce Foundation commissioned artist Gil Rocha of Laredo, Texas to create an outdoor sculpture made with 100% recycled materials. The sculpture was designed to move with the breeze and to include elements of water and light, to enhance the beautification of the historic plaza in San Ygnacio.
Marking Out A Way (2018)
Made out of mirror fragments, tiles, reflecting powder and cement, French artist Lucien Kammermann's sculpture represents an astronomical navigation landmark, shining at day and glowing at night, visible from sky, etched in earth, pointing at hope, calling out ignorance and cruelty, and as a reminder of our own life through time in the Cosmos.
Life is History (2017)
Each space within the Treviño-Uribe Fort becomes awakened with a contemporary sound installation by Pakistani-American artist Omar Zubair. The oldest room emits sounds of its own restoration, the courtyard sounds a recent parade of the village's abuelas commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the miracle of the jumping sun. Sounds of meals being cooked are heard in the kitchens and in a bed chamber, a calm lullaby.
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The Visitors Center offers a glimpse into daily life in the "Oldest Inhabited Town in the USA", from indigenous pre-history, through San Ygnacio's founding, and on into present day. Built in 1878, the modest stone ranch house was the home of Gonzalita Peña de Uribe until her death in the 1940's. Exhibits include whimsical craft projects inspired by the local folklore, historic photos/videos of San Ygnacio, and progress on the "Save America's Treasures" restoration of the Trevino-Uribe Rancho, a National Historic Landmark. The deep family ties to Guerrero Viejo (Revilla) and Nuevo Laredo are well documented in the photographs, letters, and esquelas (death announcements), which were thoughtfully preserved for future generations. Mrs. Peña de Uribe's young nephew Guadalupe Martinez, who was trained to care for nearby Rancho La Union, grew up to become one of the region's most generous benefactors. The Visitors Center is open by appointment and also offers a limited selection of history books and pamphlets.
The Gift Shop makes available pertinent books, apparel, souvenirs, and DVDs such as the RPF-produced award-winning documentary Culture, Water, Money (1997).
The Treviño-Uribe Rancho is now open on the first Sunday of every month from noon until 5:00 P.M.
Private tours are available on a suggested donation basis.
Click here to learn more about Posada Paloma
A project of The River Pierce Foundation
Posada Paloma is a bed & breakfast nestled within the historic district of a tiny, quiet farming village, home of the white-collared seed-eater and The National Historic Landmark, The Trevino-Uribe Rancho c1830.
Posada Paloma welcomes birders, pilgrims, and international travelers year round.