El Camino Real de Terra Adentro
The March 1 deadline to nominate a site to the 2013 America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List is fast approaching. Here at the National Trust, we use this annual list to spotlight threatened historic places from America’s diverse pasts.
In particular, as the Latino population continues to grow, it’s important to recognize the 500 years of Latino historic contributions to this country. Latinos have always been a part of America’s story, from the early Spanish explorers to the accomplishment of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Unfortunately, less than three percent of all the national landmarks that we have -- the highest designation you can receive as a historic landmark -- are about the history of Latinos and other minority groups in the U.S., according to the Department of the Interior. We want to enable America’s diverse communities to see themselves in preservation, and we'll enrich our country by preserving the full range of all American cultural experiences.
Silverio de la Peña Post Office, Rio Grande City, TX on Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor
For over a quarter century, the list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has highlighted important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural, and natural heritage that are at risk for destruction or irreparable damage.
Thanks to the list, sites such as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, which tells the history of the early Spanish explorers, have gained more national exposure. El Camino Real is known to be one of the largest and most important artifacts of the Spanish Colonial era in the U.S. and one of the most valuable single markers of the Hispanic experience in the Southwest.
Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor was also listed. This site’s history and architecture reflect a rich blend of Hispanic, Latino and Anglo cultures in Southern Texas. It focuses on the cultural continuity that exists between the U.S. and Mexico in the region.
If you would like to save a historic site, place, or community that represents the history of Latinos or other minorities in this country, now is the time to take action. Submit your nomination by March 1, and let the historic places across the country tell the story of all Americans.