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March Fiesta 2004

Additionally, there is an article in the online Houston Chronicle by Dudley Althaus entitled, “Desperate yet faithful, thousands seek cures Mexican healers offer hope to sick.”  (Due to circumstances beyond our control this article is no longer available. You may visit the newspaper site for options for gaining access to it.)

penitents muddy from bathing
A common site during the “high days” of fiesta, penitents muddy from bathing in “El Charquito” make their way to the tomb thus paying back their “Promesa”.
Traditional Matachine groups
Traditional Matachine groups and penitentes make their way along the “Avenida de Dolores” to the tomb of El Niño Fidencio.

Ciprianita Zapata de Robles, now more than 80 years old is pictured being driven in a golf cart during the “desfile general” at the height of the fiesta.

Dr. Tony Zavaleta grew up in Brownsville and is a member of one of the 13 founding families of northern Mexico. He is the nephew of Dr. Joe Zavaleta and Prax Orive, each of whom served on the TSC Board.

Dr. Zavaleta graduated from Saint Joseph Academy in 1964 and entered Texas Southmost College, graduating and transferring to The University of Texas at Austin in 1966, where he completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1976. Moving back to Brownsville in 1976, Dr. Zavaleta began teaching sociology and anthropology at Texas Southmost College and at Pan American University at Brownsville. Dr. Zavaleta became the first Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for UTB/TSC, and also served as the Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science and Technology. He next served as Vice President for Partnership Affairs, where he coordinated all of the work between the TSC Board and UTB, and then became the Vice President for External Affairs, which included governmental relations and all external programs such as Workforce Training and Continuing Education. Dr. Zavaleta served as Interim Provost, the chief operating officer of UTB/TSC, and then as the Associate Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2011 he retired from the administration to return to full-time teaching. Dr. Zavaleta retired in May 2016 after 40 years of service.

Dr. Zavaleta is regarded as one of the top experts on the US-Mexico Border, and frequently speaks throughout Mexico and the U.S. Dr. Zavaleta was appointed to two Federal commissions by Presidents Reagan and Obama, and he served two terms on the Brownsville City Commission, followed by a term on the City of Brownsville Civil Service Commission.

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