The people of Esperanza dream of a world where everyone has civil rights and economic justice, where the environment is cared for, where cultures are honored and communities are safe.
The Esperanza advocates for those wounded by domination and inequality — women, people of color, the lesbian, gay, trans and queer community, the working class and poor. We believe in creating bridges between people by exchanging ideas and educating and empowering each other. We believe it is vital to share our visions of hope… we are esperanza.
There are countless opportunities to volunteer as one of the Buena Gente, or “Good People” of Esperanza. We need help with setting up, serving food, welcoming visitors, and cleaning for all of our community events. You can also volunteer to help with community outreach, phone calls, research, or by donating your unique skills and talents.
Buena Gente Contribution Wish List:
- Graphic designers
- Stage set designers
The CineMujer series offers opportunities for unheard women’s voices to break the silence using films and videos – providing a platform for alternate perspectives with those films that depict issues of social, economic, racial and environmental justice. The series have also provided a platform for women filmmakers to demonstrate their line of work.
Past installments of CineMujer have featured over 100 critically acclaimed films focusing on a range of issues including the emergence of Afro-German consciousness, racial justice organizing, the political and historical heritage of Latin America, the power of ideas, the need to reflect and evaluate social justice tactics, the emergence of bilingual education, the search for self identity, and much more. Each series also hopes to highlight significant women – many marked as revolutionaries, visionaries, and radicals.
Other, Out & Beyond Film Programming
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center’s Other, Out and Beyond Film Series captures the traditions of the Esperanza’s historic film and video festivals: Out at the Movies; The Other America and CineMujer. Through the Other, Out and Beyond Film Series, Esperanza moves “beyond” the range of these historic festivals, incorporating an even broader range of international issues of social and political import.
Other, Out and Beyond celebrates the lives, struggles, cultures and strength of people throughout the world. It’s about expanding our minds, expanding our hearts, and expanding our communities to embrace across difference.
La Voz de Esperanza is a monthly newsjournal featuring stories, news, poetry and artwork submitted voluntarily by members of our community.
La Voz is a resource for peace, justice, and human rights through written word. It provides a forum for criticism, information, education, humor and other creative works. La Voz provokes bold actions in response to local and global problems, with the knowledge that the many risks we take for the earth, our bodies, and the dignity of all people will result in profound change for the seven generations to come.
Before La Voz issues are sent out, Buena Gente gather at monthly La Voz mailouts to help fold the newsjournal. Any time you can spare to help us fold is appreciated and needed. Sign up as a Buena Gente volunteer or give us a call at 210-228-0201 to sign up.
Click here to submit an article.
Click here to search past issues.
Esperanza’s annual International Peace Market/Mercado Internacional de Paz brings people together in the tradition of open-air markets found in indigenous communities around the world.
The Peace Market fills up two floors of the Esperanza Center and spills out into the patio and onto Evergreen St. with a festive community spirit. El Mercado de Paz gives shoppers direct access to global and local artesanos who sell unique handcrafted goods with themes of peace, social justice, cultural diversity and ecological concerns and it provides an alternative to the hectic holiday shopping offered by malls, big-box stores and impersonal vendors.
The success of Peace Market lies in the selection of vendors who see that the trend towards corporate shopping and mass production is leading to a decline of humanity. Our shoppers interact directly with artists and know that their hard-earned money goes to deserving individuals and the communities they represent.
Live performances as well as a variety of food and drinks for sale makes the day even more enjoyable for gente of all ages.
Other notable guests at the Peace Market include international artisans well known throughout the world. Artisans have included Teresa López Jiménez from Jichitan, Vasquez Family members from Teotitlan, Cristina Antonio Herrera, Irene Aguilar, Cecilia Bautista, Magdalena Pedro Martinez, Enedina Vasquez Cruz, Verónica Lorenzo Quiroz from, Taller Leñateros from Chiapas, and numerous artisans from the Red Binacional Niu Matat Napawika a network of artisan groups from across Mexico.
Click here for the latest upcoming Mercado de Paz, Peace Market events.
Noche Azul de Esperanza is our multi-year ongoing series of intimate café style performances with acclaimed singer/songwriter-in-Residence Azul Barrientos. Azul presents a multimedia monthly concert series exploring cultural themes and genres relevant to Afro/Latino/Indigenous cultures, with guest musicians like Jonathan Raveneau, Bett Butler and Joel Dilley, George and Aaron Prado, and Nina Rodriguez.
Featuring a new theme,multimedia presentation, and musical lineup each month, the sounds and genres of Noche Azul have included boleros, rancheras, folklore, tangos, jazz, afro-latin, and much more. Noche Azul showcases traditional Mexican songs while highlighting the cultural influences and interconnections between Latin America, Africa, Spain and Mexico.
Click here for the latest on upcoming Noche Azul de Esperanza events.
At the Esperanza, we believe in intersections. We invite others to come into our spaces without shedding any of their identities. It is this intersectionality that allows us to approach issues of social justice and peace through multiple lenses. We also believe in thinking beyond ourselves to include issues affecting the earth and the generations that follow.
Our people power strives to Respect Each Other, Respect (Y)our History and Culture and to Respect our Mother Earth.
Click here to learn more about Poder del Pueblo.
Radio Esperanza, 96.5 KEPJ-LPFM-San Antonio, is a low-powered community radio station dedicated to providing social justice organizing and community expression to our listeners. We provide a platform for local news, music, podcasts, and programs produced and presented by women, people of color, the lesbian, gay, trans and queer community, the working class and the poor.
Radio Esperanza empowers buena gente to speak out about injustices through media literacy and equitable access platforms. We are a non-commercial program of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, a nonprofit organization. We cover a geographic area within three to five miles of the Esperanza Center at 922 San Pedro Avenue in San Antonio, Texas.
Over the years Esperanza has sponsored dozens of pláticas that have taken many forms through readings, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and community gatherings. These platicas have included visionary local, national and international writers, activists, and community organizers. With an emphasis on critical thinking, Esperanza brings together diverse voices to speak of true and complete social change and to provide concrete skills and information to support activist work.
Through our pláticas, we actively lay the groundwork for building strong multicultural, multiracial and bicultural alliances for struggling together towards a better world for all.
Click here for the latest upcoming Reading and Platicas events.
Teatro Esperanza is a multi-generational mujerista circle of teatristas, a community writing and performance group. We come from different backgrounds and generations to share stories that matter to them. We tell stories lived. Our stories. Stories that connect us to each other. Secret stories to listen to over cafecito. We are stronger by telling our stories.
Teatro and Performances
Employing the use of words, movement, or a stage, the Esperanza has welcomed poets, thespians, dancers, and performers such as Marga Gomez, Colorado Sisters, Astrid Haddad, Monica Palacios, Carmelita Tropicano, Dan Guerrero, Teresa Champion, Peggy Pettitt, Sharon Bridgforth Climbing PoeTree, Adelina Anthony, Andrea Assaf, Samuel Valdez, Fabiola Torralba, Michael Milligen, Maria A. Ibarra, Jesus Alonzo, Erica Andrews, Jaime Gonzalez, Manuel Barraza, Toni Sauceda, Lynn Copeland, Kenneth Miles Ellington Lopez, Maximo Anguiano, Karen Becerril, Mario S. Espinosa, Araceli Herrera of Domésticas Unidas, Allan Horwath of Horwath Productions, Eleonor Maciel, Gabriel Medina, Allis Angela Ozornia, Francisco Javier Sanchez, and Melissa Toscano Lazcano.
The Esperanza provides affordable art and writing workshops, media literacy and cultural/technical skill-building trainings, and cultural tours on a rolling basis throughout the year.
We believe that art can and should be accessible to all and not just to those who can afford it. Using that approach, we coordinate many events around our cultural art programs in order to expose community members to the methods used by many of contemporary artists, but also to allow our guests artists to contribute back.
Click here for the latest details on upcoming workshops.
Each year countless organizations and groups in San Antonio pay tribute to the deceased in observance of Dia de los Muertos. At Esperanza our Dia de los Muertos celebration occurs every year on November 1st at the Rinconcito de Esperanza (816 S. Colorado).
Each year in addition to the Dia de los Muertos celebration, the Esperanza presents Day of the Dead workshops and activities for community members to learn the various aspects of the holiday. The Esperanza aims to train other community members on how to make ofrendas/altares, paper flower, and sugar skulls -all of which are vital pieces of the Day of the Dead celebration. Workshops are open to all ages. Supplies are provided to participants.
Guests are invited to join the San Fernando cemetery tours covering one of the oldest cemeteries in San Antonio with a history dating back to the mid-1800s. Visitors can also stroll through the streets of Guadalupe as we unveil new photobanners as part of our En Aquellos Tiempos Oral History project.
Click here for the latest Dia de los Muertos events.
Started in 1995 and operating out of a house in San Antonio’s Westside, the MujerArtes Women’s Clay Cooperative has been among Esperanza’s groundbreaking programs for 24 years. MujerArtes draws thousands of visitors to their exhibits and studio each year, holding exhibits at the studio, Esperanza gallery and community venues including art fairs, schools, and libraries throughout the city year round. Annual exhibits include Peace Market, Mother’s Day, Día de la Virgen, Dia de los Muertos, and others.
At the MujerArtes studio the women, with the guidance of experienced ceramicists, shape the clay into historic snapshots of their lives as workers, heads of households and marginalized women in a country where they have always had to struggle. International artists/cooperatives Irene Aguilar, Enedina Vasquez, Taller Leñateros and Domitila Dominguez are invited for annual cultural exchanges.Through cooperative efforts, the women create an environment where each woman is a teacher and student by way of their creativity and cultural experiences.
For 24 years, our women’s clay cooperative has facilitated the cultural grounding of low-income women in San Antonio’s Westside through clay workshops 5 days a week and over 5 exhibits annually. We have witnessed the growth of women, many of whom have never received formal artistic training, resulting in a diverse group of talented and accomplished artists. Read more about our current group of MujerArtes women.
Click here for the latest upcoming MujerArtes Clay Cooperative Events.
The Museo del Westside is dedicated to preserving and presenting the unique history, heritage, culture, pride, work ethic, and diverse experiences of la gente del Westside to increase understanding and appreciation by building and strengthening knowledge of the Westside to create a more vibrant future for our community.
The Museo will collect, conserve, research, communicate, and exhibit the tangible and intangible heritage of the historic Westside. As a community participatory museum, the museum will invite the community to participate in developing the museum’s exhibits and programs.
This structure began with the southern wooden half of the building, which dates to the 1930s. Originally a residence, around 1950, it became the M & E Grocery Store operated by Manuel and Elida Reyes. About 1959, Mr. Reyes added the concrete block addition where he operated Ruben’s Ice House, a longtime community gathering space that closed in 1987. Twenty years later, Esperanza acquired Ruben’s Ice House with the support of the Reyes children.
If you would like to help support the Museo del Westside, please contact [email protected] or call 210-228-0201.
The Paseo por el Westside is a historic and cultural preservation community gathering on the Westside of San Antonio. The event takes places usually the first weekend in May as part of Preservation Month. Each year, community comes together at the Rinconcito de Esperanza (Little Corner of Hope), located at 816 S. Colorado St., to celebrate culture, history, and conviviencia (conviviality).
The event fuses storytelling, music, education, film, and history in one jam-packed day. Workshops with Jacinto Madrigal and his medicinal plants, Introduction to chilis as well as Enrique Sanchez’s informative plática on Pan Dulce always bring in the curious crowd. Other workshops have also included how to wash using a washbin, flour tortilla making and how to do genealogical research with local resources such as the Texana/ Genealogy Department at the San Antonio Central Public Library. Alongside these pláticas and throughout the day, beloved and old-time children’s games such as zancos (stilts), trompos (wooden spinning tops) and canicas (marbles) are available for children and adults alike.
During the Paseo, guests are encouraged to join one of the three Westside walking tours as Westside Preservation Alliance members guide guests around this neighborhood to learn about its historic, cultural and architectural significance. Walking tour stops include Guadalupe Church, the White Star Building, Casa Maldonado, the Guadalupe Theater, Fite Alley Shotguns, MujerArtes Studio, and the Historic San Fernando #1 Cemetery.
Click here for the latest upcoming Paseo por el Westside events.