Original faculty, staff recognized at festival’s 25th anniversary (story, photos, video and audio)

Rachell Ramirez

Lucero Rea and Aryanna Rodriguez

This package received an honorable mention in the Multimedia News Story Package category in the NSPA’s 2018 Digital Story of the Year division.

VMT’s 25th annual Hispanic Heritage Festival recognized founding faculty and staff members who helped open the school in 1993.

It was a group that was mostly handpicked by the founder of the school, late Superintendent Vidal M. Treviño.

Introducing the faculty and staff under the setting sun was Carlos Flores, a senior in VMT’s first year, valedictorian at J.W. Nixon, and now a lawyer.

He gave some details about the school when it first started, explaining VMT often held classes in the school district’s boardroom and St. Peter’s Plaza downtown, and also at the Civic Center since there were no permanent buildings until later that school year.

I think it’s very fun, very colorful and very diverse, and it definitely brings people together.”

— Ashley Muñiz

“The first year of VMT was at the Civic Center with no classrooms or buildings,” he said.

Flores then introduced founding faculty and staff members, and as their names were called each came up on the stage and formed a line behind him.

Then Bobby Treviño, Vidal Trevino’s son and a school district employee, spoke about the festival’s 25th anniversary, why it’s celebrated, and it’s important to the Laredo community.

“This Hispanic festival is so important. Students need to remember our heritage and culture,” he said.

He then spoke about his father’s goal of opening a fine arts magnet school to expose the district’s students to the fine arts and communications.

Treviño also acknowledged the original faculty and staff members on the stage and then shook hands with each person on stage.

He then ended with a quote his father would often say: “The children, always the children.”

The festival itself was a high-spirited event that started late in the day Nov. 8 in the south parking lot. There was a variety of food, music, and dance for people to enjoy as well as several games.

Students in the fine arts and communications areas participated, whether it be on stage, helping in one of the food or game booths, or capturing the event through pictures and video.

It was junior Ashley Muñiz’s first time attending the Hispanic festival, and she was able to help her booth and perform for her VMT dance group.

“I think it’s very fun, very colorful and very diverse, and it definitely brings people together,” she said.

Many of the students seemed to be having a great time, enjoying the music and food; the majority of the people were seeking hot food since the weather was cold. Despite 50 degree weather and the threat of rain, the parking lot seemed packed with both students and visitors from throughout the city.

“I think it’s such a beautiful weather because for the past two years it was just hot and now it’s just really windy and nice. I would have to say this is my favorite Hispanic festival only because the weather is really nice,” junior dancer Miranda Flores said.

However, not everyone had the same optimistic views regarding the weather.

“I do not like this weather; it was not like this for the past two years,” junior dancer Katelynn Dominguez said.

Many people had positive things to say about the festival. The majority interviewed felt connected to the Hispanic culture and this is why they come annually to VMTs festival, and even some who weren’t familiar with it had a great time.

One student said he was familiar with and felt connected to the Hispanic culture.

“My purpose here is to connect with my Hispanic roots and to live the Hispanic life that they lived back then. My favorite part is how people from all parts of town get together and come here to connect to their Hispanic roots,” choir student Johanna Gonzalez said.

Justyne Bernal