My interview was a historian from Acuna who cooperates in La Casa de la Cultura. His name is Alfredo Escobar Salgado. He was interviewed by me Jose Lozano. We had the Interview in his office in the Casa de la Cultura on October the ninth. He met with me at 12:30 P.M. and we talked about the history of acuna and the history of the Mural. The Mural is a painting located in the Plaza and has Coahuila’s most important heroes. It also has the paintings of people from Acuna that will also be remembered for what they did to help Acuna.
J.A.L.- Good morning, well first of all I want to thank you for accepting me to take this interview with me. I come from the South West Texas Junior College for a Hitory class. And I would like to ask some questions for a homework assignment for Mr. Broadaway’s class.
A.E.S.-Of course with enjoyment it is a pleasure receiving you. It is good that some students are interested in history. Because it is few those students that come and want to know about the history of Mexico.
J.A.L.-Thanks a lot, well first of all what is your name?
A.E.S.-My name is Alfredo Escobar Salgado. I graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and from the superior studies there in the same university. In the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.
J.A.L.-What is your work in the city today?
A.E.S.-Well, I am cooperating giving conferences of History in some schools in Mexico, universities most of the time. For example el CECIT, the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila, in the Instituto Tecnlogico de Acuna, in the CECIT, in the CECITEC are in some of the institutions who has given us the opportunity to give the conferences during all of the year. And this is cooperating (like donating it).
J.A.L.-How many years have you lived in Acuna?
A.E.S.-I have been here since the year of 1960, which is a lot.
J.A.L.-What do you know about the history of Acuna? Not from Mexico but from Acuna?
A.E.S.-Yes, because it is what interests us, everybody that lives here should know the history of this place. Like for me and for a lot of people Acuna has open its doors for us. Well, It was founded since the 19th century. We are talking since the year of 1850 for the cattle breeding in some of the ranches in the sierra, there was a lot bovine animals. That cattle was selled to the United States and the people met in a legal and illegal form. Then for this reason of this cattle breeding comes the first name El Paso de las Vacas without being and official name, but only for the tradition and for what this place was famous for El Paso de las Vacas. This is why there is an river called Las Vacas and a street; even in Del Rio, Texas there is a street called Las Vacas. For this reason, I think, it is why the first name for this place El Paso de las Vacas. The first official name is until 1877 the 27th of December from 1877 because of the Decreto 305 thanks to the government of the State it is named Congregacion Capital Manuel Leal. It is named for the Captain Manuel Leal who was a leader in the army of the North. He had the job to take care of this land all the way to Jimenez, Coahuila. This is why in honor of him it is imposed this first name Congregacion Capital Manuel Leal. This name lasted all the way to the year 1890. From 1890 through 1894 changes name to Villa Garza Galan, thanks to the governor of the state. From 1894 through 1912 changes to another name, Congregacion las Vacas. Which is named, I think, for the selling of the cattle bovine. This is why it was called Congregacion las Vacas. So this name lasted all the way to 1912, where the Governor Don Venustiano Carranza changes the name in 1912 to the poet from Saltillo, Manuel Acuna. And this is the name that has stay up to this day.
J.A.L.-How has your job changed in the last 20 years?
A.E.S.-My profession, yes it has changed because there has been a lot more educational Institutions, in the past there used to be no universities. The first was the Secundaria Numero Uno. And the reason main reason is that there are more students and this has made our job change.
J.A.L.-And How does the Casa de la Cultura has changed? Like physically has it moved? Have you made it bigger?
A.E.S.-No, it is the same it is getting smaller for all the students it has. The new thing is the new edifice of two stores. Yes, it has not have any changes to the Casa de la Cultura. It is an edifice that belongs to the school Arturo Pena. We are making a project a place were it can be better for the students. Right now it seems we have around 700 students which is a problem to attend them which is only a problem because of space.
J.A.L.-Another question, why was the Mural created here in Ciudad Acuna?
A.E.S.-It is tribute from the painter Dora Elia Fernandez Diaz because she is from Acuna. She and the Mayor in those years, Eduardo Ramon Valdez, both of them are from Acuna and wanted to give a tribute to the people that helped the economy, social life, and culture in this place. The place was chosen because of all the area that the presidency had, because it is protected, and can be taken care of, for this reasons it was chosen to be in the presidency.
J.A.L.-I have seen the national heroes in the Mural. Who are they and why?
A.E.S.-Well, there is a wall that is dedicated to them. There are some heroes and some distinguish people from the state of Coahuila. For example, Venustiano Carranza, Francisco I. Madero, and also Don Ignacio Zaragoza that we considered him as a hero from the Battle of 5 de Mayo of 1862 where the country was invaded by the French and he was crowned with glory. With the success of being able to get rid of the French from our country; Precisely the day of 5 de Mayo of 1862. There are also other important figures like writers like Victor Alezio Robles, like ex-governors, like Diputados, distinguish people from Coahuila and that were here in Coahuila. There are like two or three that do not belong to the state of Coahuila, they are from other places but still made a lot of goods for the state of Coahuila that is why that wall was chosen. And the three most important leaders are Venustiano Carranza, Francisco I. Madero, and the Gral. Don Ignacio Zaragoza.
J.A.L.-I also saw that there are not only national heroes, but also people that live in Acuna who are they?
A.E.S.-Well, in the other two walls exist the faces of important people. They are there because they are people that worked for the economy here in Cd. Acuna. They helped in the Commerce, Tourism, in the transportation, in the electric light, and in other companies. For example, there is Don Jesus Maria Ramon, Don Valeriano Valdez, Don Jose Maria Velazquez which we like to call him Chemita, and Mr. Losoya this are characters most representative of the progress in this place. And for this reason they were chosen this is only a few of those who cooperated for this place.
J.A.L.-When was the Mural created?
A.E.S.-In the year of 2001 and took almost two years in the finishing parts.
J.A.L.-Well, this is my last question and I want to thank you for accepting my invitation and for answering this questions from Cd. Acuna. I am really thankful and thanks for everything.
A.E.S.-I am really happy to receive you. Not only you but all who ere interested. With our modest knowledge we can help we will do it with joy. Thanks a lot and we are here to serve you.